Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy lashed out at the band of House Republicans who voted to oust him last month, saying the party would be better off if his chief GOP nemesis, Rep. Matt Gaetz, was gone.
Republicans would benefit “tremendously” if Gaetz, R-Fla., who called for the vote to remove him, were no longer in office, McCarthy said in a CNN interview.
He also had critical words for Representatives Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Tim Burchett of Tennessee, who were among the eight GOP members to join with House Democrats in support of Gaetz’ motion.
“It seemed out of nature,” McCarthy said of their votes, adding that he believes Mace and Burchett “seemed to just want the press and the personality.”
McCarthy also said he believes Mace will face a difficult run in 2024 for her third term in the House.
“If you’ve watched just her philosophy and the flip flopping, I don’t believe she wins reelection. I don’t think she’ll probably have earned the right to get reelected,” McCarthy told CNN.
The rule allowing any one member to motion to remove the speaker, which McCarthy conceded in order to be elected back in January, remains in place. However, the former speaker called the move against him “personal” and said it would not be smart for the House to go through a repeat with new Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.
“I don’t think anybody can make a motion to vacate for the rest of the term,” McCarthy said. “I think he’s safe regardless.”
McCarthy said his removal did nothing to solve the bigger issue of intraparty division within the House majority.
We’re still wondering whether government‘s going to be shut down or not,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to have to heal ourselves to be able to serve the people.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kevin McCarthy lashes out at House Republicans who ousted him