House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) won’t “last very long,” as House speaker according to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), if Republicans take control of the lower chamber in January.
“I think he has cut so many deals with bad people to get to this position that I think he’s not going to be a leader at all,” Kinzinger told co-anchor Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I think he will be completely hostage to kind of the extreme wings of the Republican Party,” Kinzinger continued. “And I, frankly, don’t think he’s going to last very long. Maybe he will prove me wrong. But it’s sad to see a man that I think had so much potential just totally sell himself.”
One of the two Republicans on the House panel looking into what happened on January 6, 2021, Kinzinger, has lambasted McCarthy repeatedly for his backing of former president Trump and his allies, especially Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). After opting to retire, Kinzinger will leave Congress at the end of the current session.
McCarthy was easily chosen by House Republicans to be their candidate for Speaker in a meeting held behind closed doors last week.
McCarthy’s attempt was defeated by 31 Republicans, indicating he lacks the backing necessary to take the gavel when the entire House votes to elect the Speaker in January.
Due to the GOP’s tenuous hold on the chamber, only a small number of Republicans could oppose McCarthy before he fell short of the required majority in the House.
The Freedom Caucus, whose members are urging McCarthy to make concessions and changes to conference rules, has been the main source of his opposition.
On Sunday, Kinzinger said McCarthy will struggle to find the support he needs to become Speaker if he also manages to achieve some goals, such as a government funding measure.
“I have done this business for a while,” Kinzinger said on CNN. “And I will tell you, they’re just the ‘hope yes, vote no’ caucus. They vote no on everything, or now they’re only going to vote for the most conservative stuff.“