WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Rep. Matt Gaetz slammed Rep. Kevin McCarthy at CPAC on Saturday, saying the House minority leader should not lead the Republican conference.
- McCarthy has faced repeated criticism about his leadership from his Republican colleagues.
- Bannon asked the cheering crowd if they want Jim Jordan as McCarthy’s replacement.
Rep. Matt Gaetz slammed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s leadership during a conversation with Steve Bannon at CPAC on Saturday. Gaetz said McCarthy should not lead the Republican conference.
Gaetz said a GOP-led Congress would probe the origins of COVID-19 and claims of voter fraud then slammed McCarthy.
“If anyone posits to be the leader of our party and our movement, they cannot stand for the swamp, and the establishment, and the bureaucratic permanent state,” Gaetz said. “They have to stand with us in exposing these issues. And if Kevin McCarthy will not allow us to be able to find out the answers, he should not be the leader of the Republican conference.”
Bannon then asked the crowd: “What do you think about that?”
“Do we want Jim Jordan?” Bannon asked the cheering crowd, implying that Ohio Rep. Jordan could replace McCarthy.
Jordan, who was one of McCarthy’s opponents for speaker in 2018, said in 2020 that he would back McCarthy for speaker in 2022 if the GOP gets Congress back.
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert also slammed McCarthy on Saturday. In a speech at CPAC, Boebert warned that those who did not work with her on issues like “securing the Southern border” would not get her support for re-election or the role of speaker.
“We will not tolerate another GOP speaker that works with Democrats more than Republicans,” she said.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said in November she did not think McCarthy had the majority of GOP’s support to be the speaker.
“I can’t respect leadership that doesn’t hold people accountable, yet allows people like me, Paul Gosar, to be constantly trampled on and abused, and then will throw us under the bus at the first given chance. I’m really sick of it,” Greene said during an episode of Gaetz’s “Firebrand” podcast.
In April, audio was leaked of McCarthy telling House GOP members on January 10, 2021, that he was going to tell Trump to resign after the Capitol riot. Gaetz slammed McCarthy at the time, then hinted that he would support Jordan for GOP leader over the California lawmaker.
In April, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called McCarthy a “puppet of the Democratic Party” who “in private, sounds like an MSNBC contributor.”
Trump also criticized McCarthy for his leadership, claiming in November that Republicans could have stayed in power if McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had “fought harder.” Though he endorsed McCarthy for re-election, calling him “strong and fearless” in June.