Members of the House Freedom Caucus have spent the week fighting to keep California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker.
While they initially backed Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, the conservative dissidents have since put forward a candidate that few saw coming.
Rep. Byron Donalds put forward as an alternative to McCarthy
Roy began by calling Donalds “a friend” as well as praising his successful business career and life as a family man.
“We do not seek to judge people by the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character,” the Texas congressman said of Donalds, who is African American.
“Byron Donalds is a good man — raised by a single mom, moved past diversity, became a Christian man at the age of 21, and has devoted his life to advancing the cause for his family and this country. And he has done it admirably,” Roy declared.
In a profile published on Wednesday, The Hill described Donalds as being “a fiery conservative” who “has been outspoken about his anti-abortion views and support for gun rights.”
The website noted that Donalds voted for McCarthy during the first two rounds of voting but later threw his support behind Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.
Donalds accused of supporting “white supremacy”
Donalds’ nomination was met with derision by Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush. She lashed out at Donalds on Twitter, accusing him of being “a prop” who supports “white supremacy.”
FWIW, @ByronDonalds is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He is a prop. Despite being Black, he supports a policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy.
His name being in the mix is not progress—it’s pathetic.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 4, 2023
Donalds reacted to Bush’s comments during an interview on Thursday with Fox Business host Stuart Varney, calling them “blatantly outrageous.”
.@CoriBush, if you see a Black man rise, let the man rise even if you disagree with them.
I’d be happy to sit down and debate our policies one on one whenever you’d like.
As a Black man to a Black woman, I’d never do that to you. It’s a shame you did it to me. pic.twitter.com/ojpEHLhSI4
— Congressman Byron Donalds (@RepDonaldsPress) January 5, 2023
“I feel bad that she really put that out there,” Donalds told Varney, adding, “If you see a Black man rise, let the man rise even if you don’t agree with them.”
“As a Black man to a Black woman, I’d never do that to you,” Donalds said of Bush before complaining, “It’s a shame you did it to me.”