Newt Gingrich rips GOP holdouts in speaker’s race: ‘The choice is Kevin McCarthy or chaos’

An exasperated Newt Gingrich torched the Republican holdouts who are standing in the way of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) ascension to the role of speaker of the House.

Gingrich appeared on Monday’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends” and stated there are only two choices: McCarthy, who received 85% of the conference’s vote, or absolute “chaos.”

(Video: Fox News)

The crucial vote takes place on Tuesday.

As BizPac Review has reported, on Sunday, nine House Republicans fired off a letter stating that a vote for McCarthy would be a vote for the “continuation of past and ongoing, Republican failures.”

If the new House GOP majority is to be successful, they argued, a change in leadership style is needed.

“I don’t understand what they’re doing,” Gingrich said of the opposition. “They’re not voting against Kevin McCarthy, they’re voting against over 215 members of their own conference. Their conference voted overwhelmingly, 85%, for McCarthy to be speaker, so this is a fight between a handful of people and the entire rest of the conference.”

“They’re saying they have the right to screw up everything,” he fumed. “Well, the precedent that sets is…any five people can get up and say, well, I’m now going to screw up the conference too. The choice is Kevin McCarthy or chaos.”

In a last-ditch effort to convince his detractors to support his bid to be third in the line of succession to the president, McCarthy dangled on Sunday some considerable carrots, Fox News reports, the largest of which is a concession “that would allow any five Republican representatives to force a vote of no confidence in the Speaker.”

“He also vowed to end the practice of proxy voting and virtual participation in hearings, requiring lawmakers to be in Washington to participate in hearings and votes,” according to the outlet.

“Just as the Speaker is elected by the whole body, we will restore the ability for any 5 members of the majority party to initiate a vote to remove the Speaker if so warranted,” McCarthy told his Republican colleagues in a Sunday letter.

“There’s nobody going to replace Kevin, because he has far more people totally dedicated to him than his handful of never-enders,” Gingrich stated on Monday. “And the result’s going to be, anybody who tries to replace Kevin would face total chaos. It will be impossible to govern.”

“So,” he continued, “I hope in the next 24 hours that this handful of members will realize, they don’t have the moral right to reject the choice of 85 percent of their conference. They don’t have the moral right to break up the House against the wishes of over 215 fellow Republicans.”

“And I think it is a remarkably shortsighted and, candidly, selfish position, and I don’t understand where they’re coming from,” the former Speaker said. “McCarthy has agreed to every policy they’ve asked for. The truth is that the Freedom Caucus has won a huge set of victories, and you have to say to yourself, ‘if you got somebody and you give him everything he asked for, and he still says no, is the problem him and not McCarthy?

Gingrich warned of a “meltdown” and praised McCarthy for his accomplishments for the party.

“I think the Republican Party right now is in the greatest danger of meltdown than it’s been since 1964,” he stated. “I think that’s true in the Senate, it’s true in the presidential race.”

“I thought McCarthy, frankly, who had won two consecutive elections — they gained seats in ’20, they gained seats in ’22 — he was the singularly most active best fund-raiser, biggest campaigner,” he continued. “I thought at least the House was going to be a sign of stability, and these five guys decide to go out as kamikazes and see if they can’t sink the whole Republican Party, and that’s what they are doing. This is not about Kevin McCarthy. This is about the right of any five members to basically throw away the entire rest of the conference and tell the rest of the conference it doesn’t matter.

“Given what McConnell has been doing in the Senate,” Gingrich stated, “McCarthy’s the only hope for conservatism in Washington right now, and to undermine him, I think that is to undermine conservatism, undermine the Republican Party and, frankly, undermine the country.”

Melissa Fine


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