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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In a stunning turn of events, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Thursday that he would not seek election for the position of Speaker of the House.

“I think I shocked some of ya, huh?” McCarthy told reporters only five hours after he had announced his intention to run. McCarthy intends to remain House Majority Leader.

McCarthy had been the presumed successor to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who is set to resign his seat on Oct. 30.

“We need a new face,” McCarthy said at his press conference. “I feel good about the decision. I think we’re only going to be stronger.”

The Republican conference, he said, needed “to be 100-percent united” behind its eventual nominee.

The startling development has exposed deep fissures within the Republican conference and seriously calls into question the party’s ability to unite behind a nominee.

McCarthy has been dogged by pundits and colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his gaffe last week, when he boasted on national television that the Benghazi select committee had been formed specifically to bring down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. Those remarks, McCarthy conceded in his press conference, “weren’t helpful.”

In his remarks to Republican congressmen, McCarthy said he didn’t want to divide the American people or divide the Congress, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told MSNBC.

“I’m not the one,” McCarthy told the GOP conference, to stunned silence, according to reports.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, which had consistently challenged Boehner during his tenure, described McCarthy’s move as “selfless” and said he was moved by his “statesmanship,” in an interview with CNN.

The Freedom Caucus endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) for Speaker yesterday.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) told MSNBC that McCarthy clearly could have won a majority of the Republican conference, but was not able to get the 218 votes needed in the House. That may be due to the Freedom Caucus, who in the past have launched renegade coup attempts to deny Boehner the majority vote on the House floor.

Dent speculated that it may be necessary to form a bipartisan coalition — sidestepping the highly conservative element in his party — in order to elect the next Speaker. “At this point anything is possible,” he said.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KA) described McCarthy’s abdication as a “victory for the American people.”

“I think the establishment lost again today,” he told MSNBC. “They essentially lost two Speakers in two weeks.”

The House GOP’s internal election to select their nominee for Speaker had been scheduled for today. Boehner announced that it has been postponed, but has not yet given a new date.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is seeking the nomination for Speaker, said that the Republican conference is “going to have to do a lot of soul searching” and have a “family discussion” in order to unite the party.

This story has been updated.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at the John Hay Initiative in Washington September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • DAK27

    He knew he would loose and so gave the Speakership to the Right-wing loons. Like John and Sara before, he thought it better to quit than to try.

    • 5612jean


  • adler56

    Open mouth, insert foot is not statesmanship.

    • tomtype

      After the caucus, they go out, extract foot, and insert the other foot.
      I swear that the old 50’s commie hunters were right. The threat is internal and there is a group that wants to bring down the government and make America loose its first place in the world. And worse yet, they might just manage it. As Daffy Duck would say, “What a bunch of maroons.”

  • oldlion

    KABOOM!! This is too much fun. The downside is that they will probably elect a complete moron that will shut down the govt. and not raise the debt ceiling. It should be called Apocalypse governing.

  • pmbalele

    I have told you Repubs and TPs will never be invited in heaven. They hate people around them and therefore live with hate. Just imagine McConnell when he said he wanted President Obama to be one-term prez. Now we have McCarthy spills the truth-all the Benghazi brouhaha was to bring down Hillary. God will never invite Repubs and TPs in heaven. They may as well join Boehner. All should resign.

  • Paragryne

    The Republican Party is nothing more than an out of control dumpster fire.

    • AmFem101

      Paragryne: Unfortunately, dumpster fire or not, their constituents will still keep voting for them, and they’ll remain in office. PROGRESSIVES…GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

    • David

      Hmm..that out of control dumpster fire burnt up a lot of Demorats last November!

      • Paragryne

        Yeah, hold on to that 18% of voters. They’ll be fond memories.

        • David

          Kind of like taking control of the Senate and having the largest number of Representatives in the last 50 years. Wait ’til Trump gets elected! The Demorats better get those illegal aliens to start voting. Remember their motto, “Vote early, and vote often!”.

          • Paragryne

            You guys can’t even agree on a Speaker.

          • midway54

            Yes and the House became awash with ignorant rednecks and crackpot religious nut yahoos thanks to ignorant redneck and religious nut crackpot yahoo voters in the Red(neck) States, who are really doing a wrecking ball job on the government and economy and reputation of this country. All are misguided, pathetic dupes of the plutocrats who are, like you, ecstatic over their presence and wretched behavior in Congress that will incite even more such voters to go to the polls and send more shills to Congress.

          • David

            But not anything like Obomo has done with the National debt during his terms in office. Oh, I forgot, the 18.2 trillion in debt is Bush’s fault!

          • Insinnergy

            David doesn’t understand momentum.

            Ok David… let me try to explain in simple words:
            David is in a truck…
            It’s a very very heavy truck because it contains all the businesses in the American economy.
            Clinton drove the truck steadily uphill… reducing the Debt.
            George Bush is driving the truck. He chooses to drive the very heavy truck over a massive hill by starting numerous wars on credit and giving free money using tax cuts.
            The truck starts racing down the other side of the massive hill.
            It’s very very steep.
            On the steepest part of the slope two things happen.
            1) GW Moron Bush teleports out of the driver’s seat to go and paint cats. And Obama teleports into the drivers seat.
            2) The Republicans disable the brakes on the Truck

            What happens next?

            Dumb Republicans think that the truck can magically be suddenly pointed back up the hill. They blame Obama for not doing magic with the runaway truck.
            Smart Republicans realise that the momentum of the truck will be very hard to slow down then stop, so attempt via political means to ensure that the truck cannot be slowed or stopped by all agreeing to block an action Obama takes to slow the truck.

            Obama slowly bring the truck to a stop anyway, and begins pointing it in the direction of uphill again.

            Is the truck further downhill than when Moron Bush started it hurtling down the steep slope then bailed?

            Are we better off, headed back uphill now, than we were hurtling faster and faster downhill?

            Why can Republicans not understand this simple concept?
            Because they are either willfully ignorant, gullible or stupid.
            And David, you may just be all three.

          • David

            Or, you may be one of the libtard idiots that blames Bush after 8 years of Obomo. Get with it!

          • The lucky one

            I’d pick all of the above for David.

          • midway54

            Were your recurrent posts not so pathetically uninformed and so filled with non -sequiturs, they would serve as a source of amusement for those reading them. Your often distorted premises are mostly derived from unalloyed propaganda that you and other dupes absorb like sponges…just as the jubilant plutocrats and their duplicitous flunkies expect of you and the others.

          • David

            Nice rant. Can you be specific as to your assertions, or is that too difficult for you?

          • Insinnergy

            It’s more of a case of enough rope to hang yourselves.

            Remember that Republican Emergency Group that analysed all the failings of Mitt Romney’s campaign into a set of strategic goals, that you all then totally ignored and doubled down on by doing the exact opposite?…
            Yeah… you’re all totally headed for glory.

            I’ll be here in 2016.
            Your tears will nourish me.

          • The lucky one

            And exactly what constructive accomplishment can “the largest number of Representatives in the last 50 years” point to? Note I said CONSTRUCTIVE.

      • The lucky one

        Not surprising since it’s also burning up the country.

  • 5612jean

    Loose lips sink ships. I guess he saw the handwriting on the wall.

    • tomtype

      I always ask whether they have pictures in situations like this. My advising professor in college was in charge of a US government aid program in Iraq, building latrines and installing wind mills for water in Kurdistan. Some Iraqi general through he had more prestige with all those windmills sitting in his warehouse in Baghdad than up in Kurdistan. When Dr. Burke found out why he wasn’t getting the windmills to install, he headed to Baghdad.planning on telling that general what for. But he discovered the general in question was having an affair with another general’s wife. He spend money on a excellent camera, and followed the general, and his lady friend around taking pictures for a week. He then scheduled an interview. He made a nice portfolio of the photos, and presented them. to the general. Offering to send the negatives when he got his windmills. He then headed back to the project, expecting to see windmills in about a week. They were unloading the windmills as he drove up. Sometimes it just takes pictures. Please note also that occasionally US government officials can be quite creative in solving problems.

  • Nigel

    Ironically he pulls out for being honest. Life can be tough sometimes.!!

    • stcroixcarp

      The truth shall make you free, just free, not happy.

    • bobnstuff

      Republicans don’t like truth, they like people like Trump.

  • rednekokie

    I wonder who the next republ. nitwit will be to insert his foot into his mouth.
    I suppose that could be considered a talent, as so many of them try to do it.

    • jamesowens

      very few of them will risk their paycheck from the 1 % to tell the truth

  • Stuart

    The Speaker doesn’t have to be a House member. They could elect me. Or Eric Cantor. Or Michele Bachmann. Or Clive Bundy. Or Ted Nugent. Or Trump. Think out of the box! There are all kinds of exciting possibilities!

    • tomtype

      Not to mention Mickey Mouse, which seems to be the general direction right now.

  • manderso

    Yes, it’s never helpful to have a Republican tell the truth.

    • yabbed

      Well, let’s make it into something admirable on McCarthy’s part. He was just bragging and being politically stupid.

  • Lynda Groom

    It is becoming very clear that the sane portion of the republican party has given up any chance of stopping the destruction of their brand. The purge of the moderates is in full swing and the inmates have taken over the asylum. The only the way the republican party can regain its footing is to tear down whats left of todays party and start over after the next election. The extremist are going to pick some total loon as Speaker and in effect poison the waters even more. I wonder are they missing Boehner yet? I doubt very much that dear John has the stones to do the work of the American people before he departs. There are a great many things that need to be done this month, and yet the party of NO is spending their time doing nothing of value. What a surprise not!

  • Dominick Vila

    McCarthy’s decision was influenced by more than just his gaffe. The far right believes that he, and Boehner, have been too easy in dealing with Democrats. They prefer a slash and burn Speaker, such as Webster.

    • 1standlastword

      True….They did say they prefer it from the bottom up verses the top down….

    • Bren Frowick

      In other words, they want a Speaker even LESS effective than the least effective Speaker in history…

  • Otto Greif

    His ongoing affair with that congresswoman probably had something to do with it.

  • jamesowens

    like Boehner he developed a conscious and decided quit lying -lol see what that does to the gop

  • FT66

    I knew McCarthy was not going to make it. The position of a Speaker needs skills, intelligence, good and quick thinking, unfortunately, he has shown he doesn’t have them.

    • Insinnergy

      True, however who else in the GOP does? I mean that pretty seriously.
      This job requires a depth of political experience, the ability to understand the national ramifications to the party, and a solid appreciation of tactics and strategy…
      I’m trying to think of someone who has all of that, and isn’t a halfwit (like Gohmert), a blowhard moron (like King), a dedicated warhawk (like McCain et al.), an evangelical anti-science nutjob (like Inhofe or old Bachman), or a Tea Partier (like Franks) and am coming up blank.

      Ummm. Maybe Paul Ryan?
      He usually seems to have it all together, and have a cohesive point backed by good political awareness.

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is seeking the nomination for Speaker, said that the Republican conference is “going to have to do a lot of soul searching” and have a “family discussion” in order to unite the party.
    The Republicans have NO FAMILY– only BAST_RDS.

  • 1standlastword

    News Flash: The Freedom Caucus doesn’t have anybody who can get to 218 and they have enough loons to prevent any reasonable grownup in the republican party (if there is such a person) from getting to 218.

    I expect the speaker’ race to be solid evidence of a pathetic and completely broken republican leadership–and the ones hurt most will be We The People

    But maybe there is a silver lining: Since what appears to be happening is the hi-jacking of our government by reckless, arrogant, naive band of troglodytes calling itself a Freedom Caucus; perhaps the ill-fate of the republican party is the salvation of America!

  • yabbed

    Every Democrat should vote for Nancy Pelosi.

    • Bren Frowick

      They will. And if thirty Republicans cross over, she will be the next Speaker. One who has proven herself effective, unlike the appalling failure Boehner has been

      • Paragryne

        I’ve been doing the math trying to see if there’s a path for her.

    • ChaCubed

      Republicans hate Pelosi because she was THE most effective Speaker .. ever.

      Some people, who claim to be Democrats, hate her for the same reason, but for different things.

  • Bren Frowick

    Nobody really wanted a Speaker incapable of speaking. Especially one who already gave the game away by accidentally telling the truth about how political everything the House republicans do is…

  • cyberbuff53

    and, the 2015 Monkey Screwing a Football Award goes to..
    the reTHUGlicans

  • cyberbuff53

    if the Collective IQ of the American Taliban wre a point higher, they’d have the mentality of a handball

    • Insinnergy

      You’re being pretty mean to handballs.

  • cyberbuff53

    what a bunch…just get some popcorn and watch the American Taliban reTHUGlicans Destroy themselves….this is GREAT!!!

  • CrankyToo

    Not to worry, folks. Excluding Boehner and McCarthy, there are still 245 dumba$$es on the Republican bench. I’m sure they’ll find SOMEONE incompetent enough to promote.

  • The lucky one

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said that the Republican conference is “going to have to do a lot of soul searching” and have a “family discussion” in order to unite the party. Yes but in order to have a family discussion somebody has to act as the parent. The GOP have none who are mature enough to do so,


    Pelosi for speaker.

  • yabbed

    So, what’s his scandal de jour? Something we don’t know about yet? Stupidity is so widespread in the Republican Party it does not constitute a scandal for the Republicans. What else is there about this guy that we don’t know?