This post has been updated.
Rep. Jason Caffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is preparing to launch a bid for house speaker against House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), according to a Politico report.
Chaffetz recently heavily criticized McCarthy, the current favorite in the speaker election, for comments the majority leader made about the Benghazi committee. McCarthy boasted in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday that the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been successful in hurting Hillary Clinton politically.
On Wednesday, Chaffetz said on CNN that McCarthy’s comments were “inappropriate” and “inaccurate” and called on the majority leader to apologize.
“I don’t think it necessarily disqualifies him, but I think it’s an absolute [sic] terrible statement. I don’t think it’s a fair characterization,” Chaffetz said when asked on CNN if McCarthy’s statement should disqualify him from being speaker.
Chaffetz criticized McCarthy’s statements again on Thursday.
“Those statements are just absolutely inappropriate. They should be withdrawn. Mr. McCarthy should apologize. I think it was absolutely wrong,” he said on MSNBC.
Following McCarthy’s Tuesday statement, numerous congressional Republicans have criticized his comments and distanced themselves from the idea that the Benghazi committee was established for political purposes.