'I Earned This Job': Kevin McCarthy Adamant He Will Not Withdraw From Speaker's Race

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

It’s crunch time for Rep. Kevin McCarthy as the 118th Congress is called into session and is tasked with electing its new Speaker of the House. McCarthy is the official Republican nominee for the role, but, as RedState has been reporting for weeks now, he seems to have lost the support of many of his party’s most conservative members, including Reps. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Bob Good.


In an effort to salvage his candidacy and quell the growing opposition from within his party, McCarthy held a meeting with the Republican conference and gave what has been described as a “fiery” speech to his colleagues. He apparently received a standing ovation when he told those assembled, “I earned this job. We earned this majority, and God dammit we are going to win it today.”

This likely did not go over well with those opposing his speaker bid, with Rep. Scott Perry stating:

“We demanded that he cease his efforts to defeat competitive conservative candidates in open Republican primaries. He denied it. Kevin McCarthy had an opportunity to be Speaker of the House. He rejected it.”

The meeting seems to have had the opposite effect of what McCarthy intended and further distanced the “Never Kevin” faction from the “Always Kevin” faction, although GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said she was “confident that Kevin is stronger than ever after that conference meeting. He’ll be elected the next Speaker of the House.” Some in the room clearly are not hopeful that there will be a quick resolution to the issue, with one anonymous lawmaker saying, “This is getting worse before it gets better. This may take a while.”


For his part, McCarthy is adamant he will not drop out of the race, telling reporters, when questioned about that possibility: “Yeah, I’m not going anywhere. I have the record for the longest speech ever on the floor. I don’t have a problem getting a record for the most votes for Speaker too.”

The magic number McCarthy needs to get to today is 218, as the attendance roll call shows 434 members-elect present for the vote.


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