McCarthy Says He Doesn’t Want To Pull A Pelosi
evin McCarthy (R-CA) stands with Speaker of the House designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) before she is sworn in sworn in during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol January 3, 2019 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In an interview that aired over the weekend, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he does not want to stick around the halls of Congress like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did after losing the speakership.

McCarthy, who is set to retire early from the House at the end of this year, was asked by Fox News host Brian Kilmeade why he is letting Pelosi “outlast” him in the House of Representatives.

“That’s probably not the legacy that I want, that I just stayed around,” McCarthy said in response. “I wanted to make sure I did something here.”

Pelosi twice served as speaker of the House. Her second stint ended when Republicans took control of the chamber this year. In addition, Pelosi abdicated her leadership position among House Democrats, who are now led by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

But, in a bid to “advance” the values of her home city of San Francisco and “further our recovery,” Pelosi announced in September at the age of 83 that she would seek another term in the chamber she has served in since 1987.


McCarthy, who was first elected to the House in 2006 and is 58 years old, scoffed at the sentiment.

“I mean, one of the reasons Speaker Pelosi wants to stay around, she said they need her to fix the problems in San Francisco, but she’s been there the whole time the problems were created,” McCarthy said. “So I believe it’s the Founders have always designed this to have new blood come in.”

McCarthy replaced Pelosi as speaker in January after 15 rounds of voting in the House. In October, he lost the gavel when several Republicans joined with Democrats in a no-confidence vote against him.

Several weeks after House Republicans settled on Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the new speaker, McCarthy announced that he would step down from Congress at the close of 2023, roughly one year before his term expires.

“I will continue to recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office,” McCarthy said in his announcement in early December. “The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders.”

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