House

McCarthy: ‘Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom’

Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says that he does not know if the House is governable.

In an interview with Rich Lowry of National Review just after he shocked Washington by dropping out of the Speakership race, McCarthy suggested the House — and House Republicans — may have hit their low point.

{mosads}Asked if the House could be governed, McCarthy said: “I don’t know.

“Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom.”

McCarthy said he “personally” wants Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to run for Speaker, though Ryan has said he isn’t interested.

McCarthy said he thought about dropping out in the wake of the controversy after he said last week that the House Benghazi Committee was helping to drive down Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, but figured “I’d push through.”

But he said the conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose roughly 40 members ended up endorsing Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), went on “lockdown” and “wanted things I couldn’t deliver.”

“I wouldn’t have enjoyed being Speaker this way,” he said. 

Members also were getting constituent calls against him, the majority leader said.

“I didn’t want to put them through a tough vote.”

Tags House GOP John Boehner Kevin McCarthy
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