No Republican Should Be Surprised That Trump Endorsed Kevin McCarthy

No Republican Should Be Surprised That Trump Endorsed Kevin McCarthy
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Former President Donald Trump endorsed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for re-election on Saturday, and no Republican should be surprised.

“In Congress, Kevin is a tireless advocate for the people of Bakersfield and the Central Valley. He is working incredibly hard to Stop Inflation, Deliver Water Solutions, and Hold Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi Accountable for their catastrophic failures and dereliction of duty,” Trump said in a Truth Social post, adding that “Kevin McCarthy has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

The Hill notes that this comes after the congressman wanted Trump’s resignation immediately following the Jan. 6 riot, according to audio tapes released by the New York Times earlier this year.

As McCarthy never actually told Trump to step down, they’re all cool in the pool, Trump told the Wall Street Journal in April.

Aside from the wide-ranging debate that conservatives continue to have about Jan. 6, it makes complete political sense that the former president endorsed the California congressman. Some argue that McCarthy’s too milquetoast to be such a high-ranking Republican, and likely the next Speaker of the House, but there are multiple factors to consider.

For starters, McCarthy will not have a difficult time getting re-elected, as there’s no Republican or Democrat with significant enough name recognition running against him.

If Trump were to endorse a much lesser-known challenger, it would only send the media into a frenzy about a rift within the Republican Party. There’s a chance that Trump and McCarthy could be working together in Washington again down the road, so it’s important for them to present a united front. Besides, Democrats already conflate McCarthy with Trump, so this endorsement will only help drive voter turnout for the congressman in Tuesday’s primary and bolster fundraising.

In addition, critics must consider the scope of McCarthy’s job. He needs to hold his caucus together, which means cooperating with almost everyone in the Big Tent within reason. Of course, this leaves people on both ends of the spectrum upset, with the Never-Trumpers viewing him as another threat to democracy, and populists viewing him as a “RINO.” While he does get quite a bit of criticism, he usually walks away from these situations relatively unscathed, as there are few Republicans in Congress who would actually try to come after him. Internally, McCarthy wields a lot of power over Congressional Republicans, and even Trump understands that.

Voters are entitled to their own opinions about the congressman, but Trump’s endorsement should not be upsetting or shocking. Despite possessing wildly different approaches to leadership, it’s only logical that they would collaborate given the former president’s influence and the minority leader’s fundraising skills.

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