House Dems Blast McCarthy For Joking About Violence Towards Pelosi If He Is Speaker

US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gavels in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the US Capitol on January 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TASOS KATOPO... US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gavels in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the US Capitol on January 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TASOS KATOPODIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

House Democrats urged Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to apologize to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after joking that it would be “hard not to hit” her with a gavel if Republicans take back the House in midterm elections next year, during a speech on Saturday night.

Main Street-Nashville was the first to report on McCarthy’s remarks.

During the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesman’s Dinner fundraiser on Saturday evening, members of Tennessee’s Republican congressional delegation handed McCarthy an oversized gavel with the words “Fire Pelosi” emblazoned on it.

After accepting the delegation’s gift, McCarthy issued a quip about Pelosi by joking that it would be “hard not to hit her” with the gavel if he becomes House speaker.

“I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel, it’ll be hard not to hit her with it, but I will bang it down,” McCarthy said.

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, told CNN in that McCarthy’s remarks are “irresponsible and disgusting.”

“A threat of violence to someone who was a target of a #January6th assassination attempt from your fellow Trump supporters is irresponsible and disgusting,” Hammill told CNN.

Later Sunday, a spokesperson for McCarthy told MSNBC that the House minority leader was “obviously joking” when he issued his ominous joke aimed at Pelosi.

House Democrats swiftly condemned McCarthy’s remarks and demanded that the minority leader apologize to Pelosi.

McCarthy’s joke that invoked violence against Pelosi comes on the heels of the House leaders publicly throwing jabs at each other in recent weeks.

After McCarthy and other Republicans protested a mask mandate that the Capitol physician reinstated, which Pelosi expressed support for, the House speaker said that the minority leader is “such a moron” during a press conference.

McCarthy also panned Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — both of whom voted for former President Trump’s impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” — for accepting Pelosi’s offer to join the select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.

McCarthy accused Cheney and Kinzinger of being “Pelosi Republicans” for joining the committee, and told reporters that Pelosi’s decision to reject two of his picks for the panel “just makes the whole committee a sham.”

McCarthy’s “Pelosi Republicans” jab was made after he withdrew all five of his appointees to the select committee in response to Pelosi yanking two of his picks. The House minority leader painted Pelosi’s move as a partisan effort that hurts the former president and the GOP ahead of next year’s midterms.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: