House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) facial expression went viral during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, and not for reasons that were terribly flattering to the commander-in-chief.
Although McCarthy had promised prior to the speech that he was not going to engage in the type of “theatrics” that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did when she stood and ripped up her copy of then-President Donald Trump’s address in 2020, he did appear to struggle to keep a straight face when Biden said things he thought were off the mark.
While Biden was talking about infrastructure — namely his claim that the United States had slipped from number one globally to number 13 – Newsmax’s Benny Johnson shared a brief video clip of the moment and commented, “I regret to inform you Joe has started yelling during his State of the Union.”
But it was Bonchie from RedState who noticed McCarthy’s bored expression at the tail end of the video — while Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, stood to applaud — adding, “Kevin McCarthy’s face at the end of this clip … lol.”
Kevin McCarthy's face at the end of this clip…lol https://t.co/KOS1kFtndg
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) February 8, 2023
And he was far from the only one to comment on the Speaker’s intentionally blank expression throughout the evening.
“McCarthy’s face is priceless,” The New York Post’s Miranda Devine tweeted.
McCarthy’s face is priceless
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) February 8, 2023
“THIS IS AMAZING,” came from @chicksontheright. “The pushback happening in real time, and Kevin McCarthy’s face — this is the most LIT SOTU EVER.”
THIS IS AMAZING. The pushback happening in real time, and Kevin McCarthy's face – this is the most LIT SOTU EVER.
— Chicks On The Right (@chicksonright) February 8, 2023
“McCarthy’s facial expressions are gold,” former Trump adviser and counsel Jenna Ellis added.
McCarthy’s facial expressions are gold. 🤣
— Jenna Ellis 🇺🇸 (@JennaEllisEsq) February 8, 2023
And from Brenden Dilley: “McCarthy is all of us right now.”
McCarthy is all of us right now 🤣😂🤣😂🤣#SOTU pic.twitter.com/D21DH9OWiI
— Brenden Dilley (@WarlordDilley) February 8, 2023
Left-leaning media critics appeared to interpret McCarthy’s expression differently, choosing to attribute it to smugness and even disappointment with his own party.
“McCarthy’s face when Republicans start booing Biden is every mom when their kids start misbehaving,” CNN’s Abby Phillip commented.
McCarthy's face when Republicans start booing Biden is every mom when their kids start misbehaving.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) February 8, 2023
The Nation’s Elie Mystal added, “McCarthy’s face has devolved into the smug disregard he feels for all Americans. MTG appears to be wearing some kind of Cruella d’Ville outfit.”