Miss me yet? Kevin McCarthy launches comeback campaign days after getting fired

 October 10, 2023

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) is jockeying to reclaim his job just days after he was sacked in a historic vote. 

Just last week, McCarthy said he had no interest in seeking the job again and rumors swirled that he was done with politics.

The tragic events in Israel have shifted the game board completely, however.

The barbarism of Hamas has outraged the world, while creating pressure for more unified and resolute leadership in Washington.

McCarthy reverses course

This has all left McCarthy with an opening to criticize the conservative rebels who engineered his ouster, sending Congress into gridlock.

It's as if he's saying, "Miss me yet?"

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, McCarthy said he would not reject the Speaker role if Republicans failed to rally behind someone new.

“Look, the conference has to make that decision. I’m still a member. I’m going to continue to fight and act,” McCarthy said.

“Look, whatever the conference wants, I will do. I think we need to be strong. I think we need to be united. The eight, in my view, don’t look to be — it was a personal thing," he added.

A race is already underway to replace McCarthy, with Jim Jordan (Oh.) and Steve Scalise (La.) leading the pack. Jordan has been endorsed by President Trump.

McCarthy claims vindication

McCarthy's sacking was cheered by many who saw him as too cozy with the establishment - but the violence in Israel may help McCarthy and his backers paint disruption in Washington as a bad thing.

With chaos spiraling in the Middle East, McCarthy is claiming vindication for opposing a government shutdown. His compromise with Democrats to keep the government funded ultimately led to his ouster by a coalition of Democrats and eight maverick Republicans.

“They’re the ones who wanted a government shutdown,” McCarthy said.

“We wouldn’t be paying our troops while we’re putting out a carrier strike fighter there – 30,000 American men and women in our armed services in the Middle East wouldn’t be being paid right now? I mean, what weakness would we be at?” he continued.

But will McCarthy pull it off? The embattled ringleader of his ouster, Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.), is skeptical.

“I wouldn’t bet on it," he said.

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