Op-ed: Kevin McCarthy 'a faithful Trump lieutenant'

January 3, 2023

Fox News reported on Tuesday that there are sharp divisions among Capitol Hill Republicans over whether to make Kevin McCarthy speaker, with a minority faction calling him a RINO--an acronym for "Republican in Name Only."

However, one observer insists if McCarthy qualifies as a RINO then so do "the vast majority of Republicans."

Columnist calls McCarthy "a faithful Trump lieutenant"

That was the view offered late last month by Mark B. Harkins, who serves as a senior fellow with the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University.

He told Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership fellow Debra J. Saunders Creators Syndicate columnist late last month that the term "RINO has lost its meaning because of its misuse."

In fact, Harkins argued that McCarthy's positions largely reflect those of the Republican base, an assessment with which Saunders agrees.

"Since his days as a California state lawmaker, McCarthy has morphed from a pragmatic conservative to a faithful Trump lieutenant," Saunders wrote in a column published by Creators Syndicate.

"Loser wing of GOP"

She stressed the fact that McCarthy is an opponent of abortion and voted to repeal Obamacare while also refused to certify the 2020 election.

"Still, that’s not good enough for the loser wing of the GOP," Saunders said, referring to Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs and those who wish to see him become House speaker instead.

She professed not to "see how anyone who can count expects a rump of five to move the 435-member House — with 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats — further to the right."

Jim Jordan says GOP should "come together" and back McCarthy

According to Fox News, the House saw multiple ballots on Tuesday, with McCarthy failing to gain sufficient support in each one.

Although 218 votes are required to elect a House speaker and Republicans hold a slim majority with 222 seats, a group of 20 GOP lawmakers repeatedly cast votes for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

This is despite the fact that Jordan has repeatedly indicated that he is not interested in the position and actually nominated McCarthy to serve as speaker.

Fox New quoted Jordan as acknowledging that he and McCarthy "haven’t always agreed on everything" but stressed that their disagreements "pale in comparison to the differences between us and the left."

"We owe it to them, the American people, the good people of this great country to step forward, to come together, get a speaker elected so we can address these three things," he added.

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