Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy refuses to believe Republicans are to blame for the chaotic situation unfolding in the House of Representatives – as GOP members struggle to elect a new speaker.
Despite Mr McCarthy being ousted by eight members of his own party due to dissatisfaction with him, he told Fox News reporters that it was actually Democrats who “created this mess.”
“We wouldn’t be here if every single Democrat didn’t vote with eight Republicans to shut this place down,” Mr McCarthy said, despite the fact that Republicans retain a majority in the House.
Mr McCarthy’s theory about the speakership chaos struck a chord with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who compared the former speaker to spoiling hor d’oeuvres.
On Tuesday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live the host said: “No, no, no we’re here today because your own party threw you out like a tray of salmon cakes from last weekend’s hometown buffet.”
The group of eight Republicans who voted to oust Mr McCarthy was spearheaded by Florida rep Matt Gaetz who used a motion to vacate to remove Mr McCarthy, citing his recent deal with President Joe Biden to avoid a government shutdown.
Mr McCarthy initially made compromises with a group of ultra-conservative representatives to get elected to the speakership earlier this year. He did not reach across the aisle to try and pick up Democrat votes – something Kimmel pointed out.
“How could you not blame Democrats?” Kimmel joked.
“Before McCarthy was ousted, Republicans came to them and said, ‘Look, we have these crazy people in our party who want to blow everything up and we need your votes or nothing can get done. So here’s what we’ll do, you guys give us enough votes so we can elect a speaker and, in return, we’ll give you nothing and call you all a bunch of communists and groomers.’” Kimmel joked.
Republicans are now trying to elect a new speaker the party can agree with, with Rep Jim Jordan of Ohio being the latest choice. Mr Jordan has failed to secure enough votes over two rounds. Democrats, meanwhile, remain united behind House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Democrats have not provided any votes to help Republicans end the impasse the party created for itself.
On Wednesday, the House held its second vote where Mr Jordan failed to reach the 217 mark.
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