U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California – a liberal “Republican” who until recently was viewed as a shoo-in to replace fellow liberal John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives – announced this week that he will not seek the post.
“I’m not the one to unify the party,” McCarthy told his colleagues, according to The New York Times.
Just hours earlier he was still working votes for an election he was expected to win comfortably.
In fact one lawmaker told FITS they spoke with McCarthy less than half an hour before the GOP leadership meeting was held – and McCarthy was still actively working votes.
His decision not to run “was a complete shock,” the lawmaker told us.
McCarthy alienated broad swaths of GOP lawmakers when he suggested a U.S. House panel investigating the Benghazi scandal – a panel chaired by U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy – was more interested in causing political damage to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton than it was with uncovering the truth about the 2012 terrorist attack.
Another establishment “Republican” – 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan – says he’s not running either.
“I will not be a candidate for Speaker,” Ryan tweeted. “I continue to believe I can best serve the country (and) this conference as chairman of the ways (and) means committee.”
Our thoughts on all this? As we opined here, the GOP cannot afford to install another left-leaning liberal in a leadership position.
“The U.S. Congress cannot have yet another ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ moment,” we wrote. “Either it radically reinvents itself and starts representing its citizens again, or the Republic dies.”
UPDATE: Well, well … there may be another reason why McCarthy took his name out of the running.