The Kiss Of Death? Trump Backs McCarthy Bid For House Speakership

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wants to become speaker of the House, but at least five Republicans have said they won’t support him.

That’s a big problem because the GOP controls the chamber by a 222-213 margin, and losing five votes would put McCarthy below the 218-vote majority he needs to wield the gavel.

Enter Donald Trump. The former president is throwing his endorsement to McCarthy.

“I like him,” Trump told Breitbart News. He added that Republicans need to band together to back a single candidate.

“I think it’s a very dangerous game that’s being played,” Trump said. “It’s a very dangerous game. Some bad things could happen. Look, we had [former Speaker John] Boehner and he was a strange person but we ended up with Paul Ryan who was 10 times worse. Paul Ryan was an incompetent speaker. I think he goes down as the worst speaker in history.”

“We took [out] Boehner—and a group of people, some of whom are the same, and they’re very good friends of mine. All those people are very good friends of mine.”

Trump said, “I support McCarthy.”

“Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard,” Trump said. “He is just—it’s been exhausting. If you think, he’s been all over. I think he deserves the shot. Hopefully he’s going to be very strong and going to be very good and he’s going to do what everybody wants.”

The former president also touted his track record in elections.

“Everybody wants my support,” Trump said. “I was 99 percent on endorsements [in the primary]. I don’t know the percentage but I was 233 and 22 on [the] general election. Everybody would say that ‘yeah for the nomination he’s incredible but for the general election. …’ But what’s that percentage? 233 and 22—it’s incredible. They always want my endorsement.”

But The New York Times pointed out that Trump-backed candidates lost in some of the most important races in the 2022 midterms.

Trump backed five candidates in the 36 most competitive House races, as determined by Cook Political Report: All five lost. In eight races across seven states where Trump’s super political action committee spent money, he won one (the Senate seat for Ohio) and lost six (Arizona governor and Senate, Michigan governor, Nevada Senate, Pennsylvania and Georgia Senate).

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia also threw his support to McCarthy.

“Remember that McCarthy’s leadership began with his amazing recruiting and support in the 2020 cycle. He shocked the experts who expected the House Republicans to lose 25 seats. Thanks to his leadership, Republicans won 14 seats. That was a swing of 39 seats from the predictions,” Gingrich wrote. “McCarthy has been the most aggressive recruiter in history. He has found and pulled in a historic number of new members – and significantly broadened the GOP.”

“In the 2020 cycle, the House GOP had 228 women candidates and 192 minority candidates. By the 2022 cycle this had grown to 298 women candidates and 248 minority candidates, and 252 veterans. McCarthy’s commitment to a broader, more diverse, and open GOP is being translated into reality,” he wrote.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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