And McCarthy’s campaign seems to work at least to some extent. While Trump is still disappointed with the California Republican’s initial reaction, and allegedly even calling McCarthy vulgar, a Trump aide said the couple continued to be on good terms despite their “fits and beginnings”, adding that Trump added McCarthy’s comments who chastised Cheney estimated. Another source says Trump and McCarthy have had a cordial conversation since their last heated interactions over the riots.
McCarthy’s public and private efforts to remedy the situation with Trump show how much he still needs the party’s MAGA wing on his side in order to consolidate its future, the GOP.
The next two years, however, could prove difficult for McCarthy as he seeks to win back the majority and prevent his bitterly divided party from breaking out into an all-out civil war. And the Capitol attack crisis, along with a conservatively led push to oust Cheney from leadership that is likely to worsen next week, will be a major test of McCarthy’s leadership in the post-Trump GOP.
“I think everyone in the leadership is trying to get the party up to speed in the face of the current challenges,” said newbie Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), Who voted for the indictment against Trump.
At the same time, however, McCarthy knows that if he is to retake the house and realize his dream of securing the speaker’s hammer, he will have to create some distance between his moderates and Trump. And then there is McCarthy’s other challenge to repair the GOP’s image with political donors and the corporate world, which has frozen PAC dollars to Republicans like McCarthy, who challenged election results.
This could explain why McCarthy’s reaction to the riot was all over the map, at least in the eyes of some GOP members. Several House Republicans say McCarthy – an easygoing people lover who takes pride in his fundraising skills and Relationships with members – essentially trying to have it both ways.
“This is vintage Kevin McCarthy. He says yes to everyone, tries to make everyone happy, “said a GOP legislator who was granted anonymity to speak more freely. “And it keeps biting your butt.”
“Will the real Kevin McCarthy please get up?” the legislature added.
However, McCarthy’s allies and aides say he has been consistent in his stance toward Trump. The minority leader still claims that Trump was partly responsible for the riots – but because he didn’t do enough to quell the mob when they stormed the Capitol, not because Trump tried to incite violence. McCarthy made a similar statement in his speech during Trump’s second impeachment.
And while McCarthy came under fire this weekend for suggesting that “everyone in this country has some responsibility,” it was referring to the heated political discourse he has repeatedly voiced since January 6th.
“I haven’t changed that [position]”McCarthy said on Gray Television’s Full Court Press With Greta Van Susteren.” I thought the President had some responsibility when it came to the answer. When you hear what the President said at the rally, said he: “Demonstrate peacefully.”
While McCarthy has not received nearly the same level of GOP setback as Cheney, he was criticized at the conference for his reaction to the unrest, at least behind closed doors. Some GOP lawmakers say McCarthy now appears to be watering down his criticism of Trump to avoid the wrath of the stubborn Conservatives who once denied him the spokespersonship in 2015.
“He always puts his political finger on the wind and tries to change,” said a Republican in the House. “It seems to be based on his personal ambitions.”
Before being “My Kevin” – a nickname Trump McCarthy affectionately bestowed – he branded himself a “Young Gun” Republican with close ties to Silicon Valley.
For the past four years, McCarthy has built his political identity on his close relationship with Trump and has become one of his closest and most trusted Conservative allies on Capitol Hill. And it’s a reputation that McCarthy apparently even after January 6th attacks that killed five people.
The Dispute over Cheney – who has already become deputy Fight for the future of the GOP – could get McCarthy in trouble.
It would likely be catastrophic if Cheney were ousted from her job as Chair of the GOP Conference, the # 3 leadership position, which has just elected record numbers of women to Congress, even in swing districts where this is vital Meaning will protect in 2022. And all GOP leaders would rather rally around their opposition to the Biden government.
But there is currently little political advantage for McCarthy to vigorously defend Cheney, who has become the number one public enemy in Trumpworld.
“The chances are still good [Cheney’s] Favor because members – mostly – do not want leadership struggles, ”said another GOP legislator. “Look at McCarthy and [GOP Whip Steve Scalise] in this case – it is up to them to stop it or they are complicit in suppressing it. “
McCarthy, however, has done little, publicly or privately, to quell the uprising over Cheney, although he wants her to stay at her post. In fact, McCarthy publicly sided with Cheney’s critics, who are not only angry with her impeachment vote but also outraged that she announced it a day in advance, which gave the Democrats ample time to include her testimony in the discussion points.
In an attempt to maintain some unity within the ranks of the GOP, McCarthy will provide a forum for members to have their voices heard and say to express their frustrations during their personal conference meeting next week. McCarthy has also asked Republicans not to attack each other in the press – advice some GOP lawmakers ignored.
“My only conversation with Kevin McCarthy was after a TV hit. He asked me not to name members as we’ve all seen a significant increase in death threats,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), A. Trump loyalist who will fight Cheney in Wyoming this week. “I paused for a day or two to reference people by name. As Liz became more problematic with her divergence with the conference, it became untenable not to identify her as against the America First Vision. ”
Rachael Bade and Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.