House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told the National Review that the House Republican conference may “have to hit rock bottom” before the chamber fully functions again.
National Review’s Rich Lowry asked McCarthy if the House was governable.
“I don’t know. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom,” McCarthy responded.
McCarthy told National Review that he had been considering dropping out of the speaker’s race for the last week after his comment about the political success of the Benghazi committee, but decided to “push through.”
He had originally planned on waiting for the Thursday vote with the House Republican conference to test whether he would remain in the race until the final vote on the House floor, but he ultimately decided to pull the plug on his bid.
He told National Review’s Rich Lowry that the House Freedom Caucus, who endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) for speaker, went into “lockdown” and “wanted things I couldn’t deliver.”
“I wouldn’t have enjoyed being Speaker this way,” he told National Review.
McCarthy added that some members were getting complaints about him from their constituents.
“I didn’t want to put them through a tough vote,” he told the National Review.
He said that he would support Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for speaker, but Ryan has repeatedly declined to run for a top leadership spot.