Kevin McCarthy Drops Out of Bid for House Speaker, Vote Postponed
McCarthy told a field of reporters that if the Republicans are to unite and become strong a new face needs to help with that. He said it was nothing more than that and he added he felt good about his decision.
McCarthy, who did face opposition from the GOP conservatives, said he intends to remain as the majority leader in the chamber. The nomination race was set for Thursday for Speaker of the House but was postponed.
McCarthy, who has been viewed as the most likely successor to John Boehner the outgoing speaker, stunned officials in Washington with his abrupt exit from the race.
He told his colleagues in a conference meeting that was private that he was not the correct person for the position.
California Republican Darrell Issa told reporters it was his understanding that McCarthy felt he would not have the necessary 218 votes to be elected speaker in a full vote that was scheduled for October 29.
McCarthy offered a similar explanation telling the reporters that he was talking to many members and trying to see if he would get the necessary votes.
In the nominations race on Thursday, McCarthy was facing opposition from Jason Chaffetz from Utah the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Daniel Webster from Florida, but was expected to defeat both of those rivals.
His exit suddenly throws the House into disarray with no heir apparent for Boehner’s position.
Boehner announced that he was retiring in September but said he would serve out his position until October 30.
Paul Ryan the Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee reiterated on Thursday that he would not be seeking the post saying that McCarthy was the best person to lead the members of the House.
McCarthy, a California Republican and currently second in command of the House, had come under some fire recently for comments he made on television suggesting the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been politically charged and was created for the sole purpose of derailing the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.