Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has slammed five “Never Kevin” Republicans who refuse to back California Rep. Kevin McCarthy's run for the office as Speaker in the House. In an appearance on Fox & Friends Monday, Gingrich warned that “chaos” will ensue if they don't change their opinions:
I'm not sure the reasoning behind what they're doing. They're not taking a vote against Kevin McCarthy, they're voting against 215 members from their own conference.
The conference voted with a majority to elect McCarthy to be the speaker in November. So it's a struggle between a few participants and the majority members of the group.
The Never Kevin Caucus is composed of Republican Representatives Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Matt Rosendale of Montana, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina. The group is pushing Biggs to be the next speaker.
79-year-old Gingrich was the House chairman from 1995 until 1999 during the Clinton presidency. The vote on the speaker's position is expected to be held on Tuesday. According to RedState's Joe Cunningham on Monday, McCarthy accepted a number of concessions to his adversaries (including the provision that will allow members to remove him as speaker) However, he is in a battle with nine members of the Never Kevin group who say the concessions aren't good enough.
McCarthy requires 218 votes and is able to lose four Republican members. Newt thinks it could be disastrous.
“The final result will be: Anyone who tries to succeed Kevin will be in complete chaos. It would be difficult to rule. Therefore, I'm hoping that within the course of 24 hours the handful of members recognize that they don't have the moral right to disapprove the decision of 85 percent of their members,” he said, saying that those opposed are in a “short-sighted situation.”
“You have to say to yourself, if you got somebody to give him everything he asked for, and he still says no, is the problem him and not McCarthy?” Gingrich declared about Good, a participant in the House Freedom Caucus.
Bob Good, however, is refusing to compromise:
“There's nothing about Kevin McCarthy that indicates that he will bring the change that's needed to Washington or that's needed to the Congress, or he'll bring the fight against the Biden-Schumer agenda and represent the interests of the voters who sent us to Washington to bring real change,” said the senator.
The stakes are clearly very high in Tuesday's election and the mood is very tense. The predictions of what could occur in the event that McCarthy loses are all over the place. However, the truth is, no one knows for sure what will transpire and who will become the speaker. McCarthy has many admirers, however, he also has a number of conservatives who believe McCarthy didn't contribute enough to the midterm campaign and believes that he's more concerned with his own power than with Republican principles.
Sure, he's not perfect, but, what's even less perfect would be a prolonged ugly GOP fight that weakens the whole party. A similar outcome could destroy the only good outcome from the Red Trickle: the Republican majority in the chamber.
Republicans have demonstrated a stunning capability to fudge things even when they hold the advantage. So don't be surprised if they cause more trouble in this area than they need to.