DNC Statement on Kevin McCarthy’s Departure From Congress

In response to Kevin McCarthy announcing his departure from Congress at the end of the month, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement: 

“In his short time as speaker, Kevin McCarthy managed to plunge the People’s House into chaos in the name of serving one person and one person alone: Donald Trump. At every turn, Kevin sought to give his puppet master a lifeline, even after the horrific events of January 6, and spent his embarrassing speakership bending the knee to the most extreme factions of the MAGA base.  

“This anticlimactic end to Kevin’s political career is in line with the rest of his time on Capitol Hill – plagued by cowardice, incompetence, and fecklessness. Our country will be better off without Kevin in office, but his failed tenure in the House should serve as a stark warning to the country about the future of the GOP – no matter how much he kowtowed to the extreme right, no matter how much he kissed the ring, none of it was MAGA enough for the de facto leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump.” 

Kevin McCarthy did lasting damage to our democracy by voting to overturn the results of the 2020 election and subsequently embracing Donald Trump after the January 6 insurrection.

Vanity Fair: “Kevin McCarthy cast a vote that should forever define his legacy. Along with 138 of his Republican colleagues in the House, and eight more in the Senate, the then-minority leader voted against certifying the election results on January 6, 2021—even after armed Donald Trump supporters besieged the Capitol to disrupt that very process. It was a shameful act, and one that belied his behind-the-scenes exhortations that the former president put a stop to the chaos and violence. But McCarthy did it anyway—voted against democracy, voted against impeachment, and truckled to Trump at Mar-a-Lago weeks after the Capitol attack—for the same reason he does everything: ambition.”

The Atlantic: “Kevin McCarthy’s Loyalty to Trump Got Him Nothing”

“[McCarthy] quickly moved to mend the breach [after January 6], flying to Mar-a-Lago in late January 2021 to prostrate himself. … Over the next two years, he remained close to Trump, and courted the most hard-core Trump supporters. Faced with the challenge of how to handle Marjorie Taylor Greene, the new representative with a slate of appalling statements and passionate conservative support, McCarthy chose to only lightly castigate and then align with Greene. Those moves were cowardly and often self-debasing.”

Wall Street Journal: “McCarthy Tries to Mend Fences With Trump”

“House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy worked to patch up his relationship with Donald Trump in a meeting in Florida on Thursday, a sign of the former president’s continued sway over the party despite his loss in November and his impeachment this month over the Capitol riot.”

Forbes: “‘I Can Talk To Anyone’: McCarthy Defends His Visit To See Trump At Mar-A-Lago”

MSNBC Opinion: “What was McCarthy’s previous low point, prior to his ouster? Because there are just so many to choose from.”

“Was it on Jan. 6, 2021, when McCarthy joined 138 other House Republicans voting to try to overturn the 2020 election result, after — I repeat, after — an armed mob of Donald Trump supporters had laid waste to the Capitol?

“Was it on Jan. 28, 2021, when McCarthy made a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago, Florida, to bend his knee to Trump, and then released a photo of the two of them smiling together, just weeks after he had publicly declared that the former president ‘bears responsibility’ for the attack on Congress?

“Was it on Jan. 7 of this year, when McCarthy finally secured the speaker’s gavel on the  15th House ballot, ‘more rounds of voting than any other time since before the Civil War’?”