In a recent interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney pointed the finger at California Rep. Kevin McCarthy for his own downfall as speaker of the House. Cheney, who herself lost her seat after a defeat in the GOP primary to Trump-backed Rep. Harriet Hageman, accused McCarthy of mishandling the aftermath of the 2020 election and the January 6 Capitol riot. According to Cheney, McCarthy’s failure to hold former President Donald Trump accountable and his willingness to turn a blind eye to the assault on democracy led to his ouster by hardliners in the party.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 22, 2023
With the House currently lacking a speaker since October 3, the inability to conduct legislative business and pass laws has placed Republicans under increasing pressure to elect a new leader. After House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan dropped out of the race last week, nearly a dozen Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring. Cheney further criticized McCarthy, claiming that his association with the former president attracted hardline opponents, some of whom hold white supremacist and antisemitic beliefs, and were directly involved in the attempt to seize power and overturn the election.
It remains to be seen who will step up to fill the vacant role of speaker, but one thing is clear: McCarthy’s leadership decisions have come back to haunt him, and the turmoil within the Republican party shows no signs of abating.