Mulvaney: McCarthy supporters don’t want to give in to ‘extortion’ by GOP hardliners
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that GOP House members want Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to “ride out” the Speaker vote as a faction of Republicans refuse to support his bid for the top leadership role.
Mulvaney told anchor Kaitlin Collins on CNN This Morning that McCarthy’s supporters “overwhelmingly” want to wait for McCarthy to receive the necessary votes for the Speakership instead of giving in to GOP members voting against him. He said he attended a Republican club last night where he talked to at least 30 GOP House members, saying that there was “no sense of desperation” or “chaos” held by McCarthy supporters.
“They want Kevin to stick this out, because they don’t want to give in to what they see as extortion by these ‘never Kevin’ folks,” he said.
McCarthy failed to be elected as Speaker for the sixth time Wednesday, marking the first time in 100 years that the House failed to choose a Speaker on the first ballot. During the first two ballots, 19 GOP members voted for a different leader instead of McCarthy and 20 GOP members voted for someone else on the subsequent four ballots.
The House voted to adjourn Wednesday evening after a day of three failed attempts to choose a Speaker, opting to reconvene Thursday at noon.
McCarthy offered concessions to his GOP opponents ahead of the Speaker vote, but they have not been enough to guarantee him the position. When asked if these concessions made by McCarthy would weaken the Speakership, Mulvaney said any weaknesses would come from the Republicans’ slim majority, not any concessions made.
“It’s the narrow majority that weakens the Speaker position, not these concessions that Kevin might or might not give,” Mulvaney said.
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