Congress Elections GOP

Kevin McCarthy Begs Democrat To Switch Parties And Support Him For Speaker Of The House: Report

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is so desperate to be the next Speaker of the House (and yet so unpopular with members of his own party), that some of his allies recently reached out to a House Democrat about switching parties and supporting him, Politico reports.

Kevin McCarthy’s allies have attempted to sway at least one moderate Democrat to the GOP side of the aisle in recent days, according to a person with knowledge of the situation — a sign of desperation as he searches for the 218 votes he’ll need to become House speaker next year.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) has received calls from multiple people close to McCarthy, including one current and one former member, as the California Republican attempts to lock down support amid a burgeoning conservative rebellion, the person said. Cuellar repeatedly rejected the idea.

Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for McCarthy, denied his boss had played any role in such a plan:

“Anyone suggesting this is simply exercising in fan fiction. Leader McCarthy is going to be elected Speaker by the current and newly-elected members of the House Republican Conference. Our efforts are exclusively focused on bringing our conference together and saving the country.”

Rumors of such a controversial outreach could be enough to sink McCarthy’s already fading chances of being elected Speaker. Even as some are actively pushing McCarthy’s name forward, conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus plan to submit an alternative name, which could sink any chances of McCarthy getting the votes he needs.

But it comes as some members of the pro-Trump Freedom Caucus weigh a two-step plan that’s designed to topple him. The Californian could also have to stare down emboldened centrists who are ready to press him for concessions of their own.

Who will the Freedom Caucus put forward? Two names appear to be the favorites, and both are right-wing extremists known for favoring confrontation instead of compromise: Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ), both of whom have connections to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

McCarthy may also be undercut by his own past actions and remarks, especially as they relate to failed former president Donald Trump, of whom the California Republican allegedly said, according to The Washington Post, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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