Hours after being ousted as speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy expressed his peace with the situation, stating that he wouldn't change a thing. The California Republican made these remarks during a press conference on Tuesday evening, where he also confirmed that he will not run for speaker again and has no plans to resign from Congress.
McCarthy stood by his decisions, declaring that he doesn't regret choosing government over grievance and defending his efforts to find compromise and build coalitions. He emphasized his dedication to problem-solving rather than creating problems.
“I may have lost this vote today, but as I walk out of this chamber I feel fortunate to have served ... I wouldn't change a thing.”
— Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Criticizing Gaetz and Hardline Republicans
During the press conference, McCarthy criticized Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who led the effort to remove him as speaker. According to McCarthy, the move had little to do with spending and was merely an attention-seeking tactic. Furthermore, McCarthy accused the eight hardline Republicans who voted against him of not truly embodying conservatism due to their anger and chaos.
“Unfortunately, 4 percent of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican speaker in this House.”
— McCarthy on the hardline Republicans
Systemic Problems and Advice for the Next Speaker
McCarthy also placed blame on Democrats for his ouster and pointed out the brokenness of the current system in the House of Representatives. He expressed concern about the institution's downfall and the inability to effectively perform the job.
When asked for advice for the next speaker, McCarthy simply stated, "Change the rules."