McCarthy says he supports Stefanik for House GOP conference chair
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) signaled for the first time publicly on Sunday his support for Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-N.Y.) bid to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as the House Republican Conference chair.
Speaking with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCarthy said the conference chair position needed to reflect a unification of the party’s goals — taking back the majority and keeping a constant critical eye on the Biden administration’s legislative priorities.
When asked if House Republicans had enough votes to oust Cheney from the leadership role, McCarthy responded: “Everyone in the leadership serves at the pleasure of the conference and as you know, there’s a lot at stake.”
“To defeat [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and the socialist agenda, we need to be united. And that starts with leadership,” McCarthy said. “That’s why we will have a vote next week. And we want to be united in looking, moving forward. And I think that’s what will take place.
When asked if Cheney’s ideology of blaming Trump for the Capitol riot and refusing to join other Republicans in denouncing the 2020 presidential election that resulted in Trump’s loss, McCarthy said members could “take whatever position they believe in.”
“What we’re talking about, it’s a position in leadership. We are in one of our biggest battles ever for this nation and the direction, whether this next century will be ours,” McCarthy said.
“As conference chair, you have one of the most critical jobs as the messenger of going forward. Are we talking about what the Democrats are doing on the border? Are we talking about all the missed jobs report that we just had? Are we building an economy?” he said.
When Bartiromo asked McCarthy if he supported Stefanik for conference chair, he responded: “Yes, I do.”
McCarthy’s comments come ahead of a House GOP conference meeting expected this week at which members appear likely to replace Cheney with Stefanik. The New York Republican is seen as more supportive of Trump. She also did not vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment as Cheney did earlier this year.
Democrats have roundly criticized Republicans over Cheney’s replacement, calling it proof that the GOP remains singularly bound to Trump and unwilling to support anyone who publicly denounced the former president’s false claims regarding the 2020 election.