(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has positioned himself to make a potential return to the speakership, days after he pledged not to seek the office following his embarrassing ousting.
“Whatever the conference wants, I will do,” McCarthy said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt about potentially running for speaker again. He further doubled down on these remarks while at a news conference about the Israel-Hamas war.
Kevin McCarthy not ruling out becoming a candidate for speaker: “That’s a decision by the conference.”
Jim Jordan didn’t seem affected by that. But Jordan told me he believes speaker candidate needs to have 217 votes before going to floor. (Conference rules only require 111) pic.twitter.com/c3slMiuHaq
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 9, 2023
McCarthy’s remarks come after he promised not to run again during a press conference following his Oct. 4 expulsion. “I will not run for Speaker again,” McCarthy said on Oct. 4.
He added, “I will have the conference pick somebody else. I hope you realize that every day I did the job regardless of whether you underestimated me or not, I wanted to do it with a smile.”
“I will not run for Speaker again. I will have the conference pick somebody else.”
Kevin McCarthy announces that he will not run for Speaker again pic.twitter.com/QvhjtEgtmb
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) October 3, 2023
So far, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., have announced their bid to become House speaker. But as reported by the Washington Post on Monday, Republicans warned that neither candidate can get enough votes to achieve victory, with some of them rallying behind McCarthy.
“It is abundantly clear that McCarthy is unwavering in his commitment to aid Israel, keep our government open and address the current needs of the American people,” said Rep. John S. Duarte, R-Calif.
Rep. Michael Lawler, R-N.Y., echoed these remarks. “Obviously, anything’s possible in this place. But I think when I have spoken to my colleagues, the vast majority of people are angry. They’re disgusted by what happened,” Lawler stated. “As I said, it is the single most destructive thing I’ve ever seen in politics. And it doesn’t even make sense.”
McCarthy was rumored to quit from office following his expulsion from the speakership.
“I’m not resigning. I’ve got a lot more work to do so,” McCarthy told reporters outside his office on Oct. 6. When pressed on whether he would stay for his full term, he added, “I’m staying so don’t worry.”