“Given that reality, uniting behind a candidate that can get to the 218 votes necessary to win the Speakership is critically important”. “That doesn’t signal change”. Chaffetz said many Republican lawmakers wanted a change in leadership.
Chaffetz said he’s had a number of Republicans urge him to challenge McCarthy.
This is a critical moment for the GOP.
“It’s still not clear what McCarthy really is”, Laicie Heeley, a Stimson Center fellow on defense issues, said. In the almost seven years he has been in office, Chaffetz has built much of his legacy as a congressman around his voting record and immigration-related legislation. He made a similar case speaking to reporters after his Sunday show appearance.
Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., is the only other candidate in the speaker’s race. Jim Jordan and Jeb Hensarling.
The House of Representatives has become a fortress for conservatives regardless of who wins control of the White House and the Senate.
“Kevin’s record in Congress demonstrates a rare combination of principle, leadership and effectiveness”, Ryan wrote of McCarthy in the Townhall op-ed Sunday. When Boehner surprised everyone with the news he was stepping down McCarthy quickly locked down enough commitments from members to stave off any serious challenge. “They want a fresh start”, Chaffetz said.
“I didn’t wake up last week and say, ‘I’m going to be House speaker, ‘ ” Chaffetz also said. I think those 50 plus people will find that I am a fair, even-balanced person that I can bridge that divide between our more centrist members and a few of our more right-wing members.
Via Politico, there are rumors that outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner might postpone elections for the House Majority Leader and Whip in order to quell unrest within the Republican Conference. Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s 2102 vice presidential nominee, and Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, have said they aren’t running, either.
Boehner Thursday was forced to walk back McCarthy’s comments: “This investigation has never been about former Secretary of State Clinton and never will be”. McCarthy’s Benghazi comment was “very damaging” and gave Clinton ammunition against the GOP.
During that House hearing, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) was deeply offended by Rep. Chaffetz.
It’s not a new role for Chaffetz.
“We were entrusted by the American people with the largest majority the Republicans have ever had since Babe Ruth was swinging the baseball bat”, Chaffetz said on “Fox News Sunday“.
McCarthy could lose 29 Republicans and still come out with majority support, but so far he has not claimed he has the needed 218 votes locked up.