Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy argued interim Speaker Patrick McHenry already has the powers that some in the anti-Jim Jordan crowd want him to have.
“I think you shouldn’t have to do a resolution, that McHenry can carry this on as we elect Jim Jordan our speaker,” he said.
“I always felt that – when I became speaker, they come to you and you have these different roles you have to do, and they make you put down a list of names if something was to happen to you who would fill in the role of speaker, and they’d fill it in until you elect a speaker. I always assumed as they’re telling me that, the person I put in as speaker pro tempore would have the powers to carry on the continuity of government,” McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju.
He also attacked Rep. Matt Gaetz for sending out a fundraising email last night that accused Jordan’s opposition of working with Democrats, after Gaetz voted with Democrats to oust McCarthy.
“We’re going in, we want to elect Jim Jordan, and if Jim’s numbers drop, it’s a lot of that is due to Gaetz’s email that he put out last night,” said McCarthy. “Did you guys see that, the fundraising email he put out, accusing Republicans (of) working with certain Democrats when he had worked with every Democrat and then the crazy eights worked with him. That is infuriating.”
He added, “I mean, when you think of the challenge of why we’re here, every single Democrat with the crazy eights who are led by Gaetz put us in this place and then he was fundraising last night off of this? Going after Republicans that would work with anything with Democrats when he did all this to us? I know that infuriates a lot of members about him.”
“But look, Jim is capable of leading. Jim is capable of being speaker. That’s where the conference wants to go. That’s where my support is,” said McCarthy.
He also told reporters that Jordan should be given time to get more votes. “As a person who took 15 rounds to get here, I know the rules are different and we had to have so many votes a day, but I think you allow Jim to work through and work through the members that have disagreement.