GOP congresswoman says she opted out of NRCC run because McCarthy had 'a different plan'

Rep. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerGOP scrambles to prevent shutdown after right-wing insurrection Congress must restrain power of new consumer financial director GOP congresswoman says she opted out of NRCC run because McCarthy had 'a different plan' MORE (R-Mo.) said Wednesday that she had the support and qualifications to run for the chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), but that she opted not to run after a conversation with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySteve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments House rejects GOP measure to pay workers but not open government McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader MORE (R-Calif.).

"I was very honored to have the support and encouragement of a number of my colleagues to pursue the NRCC chairmanship," Wagner said Wednesday on "The Story" on Fox News.

"I did have a conversation with the leader. He had a different plan," she added. "And I respect that, and I decided, you know what, I’m not going to put my name in nomination. I want to be a part of the team. I want to make sure that we’re a majority, and I’m just going to put my efforts and my leadership skills elsewhere."

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The congresswoman appeared on Fox News one night after host Martha MacCallum asked McCarthy about reports he had urged Wagner not to run to lead the NRCC.

"I don’t discourage anybody," McCarthy said. "I think competition is healthy."

Republicans picked Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerGOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House Steve King faces new storm over remarks about white supremacy Jeb Bush: GOP leaders need to 'actively support' primary challenger for Steve King MORE (R-Minn.) during party elections last month to chair the NRCC and lead candidate recruitment and campaign efforts.

Wagner, who has served in Congress since 2013, explained Wednesday that she felt qualified for the position because she earned reelection last month in a suburban district that outgoing Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Ex-Sen. McCaskill joins NBC, MSNBC Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party MORE won during the same cycle.

"I’ve got the recipe in terms of how we reach these voters based on your record," Wagner said, citing veterans issues, human trafficking and family savings accounts as examples of "kitchen table" issues.

She said she will instead focus on suburban issues as part of a GOP effort to win back suburban voters. 

Wagner's comments came amid internal criticism from some Republican representatives about the party's inability to appeal to women and minority voters. Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikLatest funding bill to reopen the government fails in House GOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House On The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown MORE (R-N.Y.), who appeared on Fox News alongside Wagner, has pushed for the party to conduct an autopsy on its recent midterm drubbing.

Republicans lost at least 40 House seats during last month's midterms. Ten GOP congresswomen lost their elections, meaning the party will have just 13 female members next year.

“Do the guys in your party not get it?” MacCallum asked Wednesday.

“They need to get it, or we won’t have the majority again,” Wagner replied.