House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Tuesday once again refused to go to bat for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as House Republicans threaten to oust the third-ranking Republican as conference chair.
Appearing on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning, McCarthy was asked about some House Republicans who had warned that Cheney could face another vote that would boot her from her leadership role in the caucus as a consequence for voting to convict former President Trump for “incitement of insurrection” earlier this year.
McCarthy denied that Cheney’s impeachment vote is the reason why she has become a target of GOP lawmakers.
“No, there’s no concern about how she voted on impeachment,” McCarthy said. “That decision has been made.”
Later in the interview, he reiterated that denial.
“I haven’t heard members concerned about her vote on impeachment, it’s more concerned about the job ability to do and what’s our best step forward that we can all work together instead of attacking one another,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy then fielded a question about his living arrangement, which put him in the odd position of explaining that he will soon be sleeping on his office couch.
The minority leader had wound up in the crosshairs of Fox News host Tucker Carlson the night before because he reportedly shares an address with GOP pollster and corporate consultant Frank Luntz. Carlson is no fan of Luntz, who previously declared that there “isn’t a shred of hope” for Trump to re-enter politics after inciting the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
McCarthy insisted that he was simply staying at a longtime friend’s place for a couple months after Democrats gained the majority in the House.
“As the Democrats took over, they started changing the House around and so, yeah, I rented a room from Frank for a couple of months, but don’t worry, I’m going back to where I normally am, on my couch in my office,” McCarthy said.
“But yeah,” he added, “we paid fair market rate.”
McCarthy went on to call for Luntz and Carlson to bury the hatchet. “We were so successful under President Trump, and what President Biden is doing today — the last thing we want to do is be fighting among ourselves.”
This isn’t the first time McCarthy passed up the opportunity to defend Cheney amid GOP uproar in the aftermath of her impeachment vote.
Last week, McCarthy signaled during the House GOP’s retreat that he no longer plans to defend Cheney if another vote to oust her arises.
When asked last week whether Cheney was still a good fit for GOP leadership, McCarthy sidestepped the opportunity to endorse the third-ranking Republican.
“That’s a question for the conference,” McCarthy replied.
Cheney herself is not backing down. On Monday, she took aim at the former president in a tweet that debunked the election fraud falsehoods that he continues to push.
The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 3, 2021
Axios reported on Monday that names have reportedly been floated to replace Cheney as House GOP conference chair. Congressional aides told Axios that among their considerations are Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) — none of whom voted to impeach Trump in any of his impeachment trials.
Watch McCarthy’s remarks below:
"I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message" — Kevin McCarthy indicates on Fox & Friends that Liz Cheney is likely toast as House Republican Conference Chair pic.twitter.com/afP2D971Zq
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 4, 2021