McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate After police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless MORE (R-Calif.) on Tuesday pushed back on President BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE’s criticism of the Republican Party, claiming that the GOP has “never been more united.”

Biden, at a NATO press conference in Brussels on Monday, was asked how he has been able to reassure allies that the U.S. will be a reliable and stable partner in the future, especially given the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE’s strong grip on the GOP.

He responded by offering his analysis on the current state of the Republican Party, claiming that it has “vastly diminished in numbers.”

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“The leadership of the Republican Party is fractured. And the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party. But it makes up a significant minority of the American people,” Biden continued.

“I think it is a shock and surprise that what’s happened in terms of the consequence of President Trump’s phony populism has happened. And it is disappointing that so many of my Republican colleagues in the Senate, who I know know better, have been reluctant to take on, for example, an investigation because they’re worried about being primaried,” he added, referring to a majority of Senate Republicans’ refusal to support a bill that would have created a commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6.

When asked about Biden’s critique of the party during a “Fox & Friends” appearance on Tuesday, McCarthy rejected the president's assessment, then pivoted to an attack on the Democratic Party, saying “I believe what he’s saying is backwards.”

“He says you’re a dying party,” host Brian Kilmeade said to McCarthy.

“We're a dying party that has the closest majority in more than 100 years. It's a 50/50 Senate. I'm not quite sure what Mr. Biden is expecting. He's got a party back here in the Democrats fighting among themselves, where [Rep. Ilhan] Omar [D-Minn.] is antisemitic and anti-American and his own Speaker of the House will not rebuke that,” McCarthy responded. 

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“So I believe what he's saying is backwards. The Republicans have never been more united," he continued. "And remember what he said at the inaugural; he was going to be the president for everyone. That meant Republicans, too. So ... I'm rather shocked by his comments."

McCarthy’s comments come just over one month after the caucus voted to oust Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPhotos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris Jordan acknowledges talking to Trump on Jan. 6 Stefanik calls Cheney 'Pelosi pawn' over Jan. 6 criticism MORE (R-Wyo.) from her role as House Republican Conference chair largely because of her refusal to accept Trump's false claims of election fraud.

She was later replaced by Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikStefanik calls Cheney 'Pelosi pawn' over Jan. 6 criticism GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto MORE (R-N.Y.), who has branded herself as a staunch supporter of Trump.