WASHINGTON — Top House Republicans criticized Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s remarks about how the Benghazi Committee’s investigations have helped drive down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers Tuesday night.
Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie told reporters Wednesday he believes most of the credit for the Benghazi investigation should be given to Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch and that the comment “diminishes chairman Gowdy’s work.”
“Everything that I have seen has come from Freedom of Information Act requests that [Fitton] submitted,” Massie said. “Moving beyond that, I think Leader McCarthy needs to re-read the job description of speaker of the House, if he thinks it’s to bring hearings to denigrate Democrats that are running for president.”
McCarthy is the current favorite to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner. Massie has previously warned against replacing Boehner with his “right-hand man” McCarthy.
House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz was also critical of McCarthy’s comments. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that McCarthy should apologize.
“That was not the reason we started. We started because there were four dead Americans and we didn’t have answers,” Chaffetz said. (RELATED: Democrats’ New Talking Point: Disband Benghazi Committee)
“I might have said it differently,” California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, told CNN. “Any ancillary political activity that comes out of it is, in fact, not the goal of the committee and is not what the committee is seeking to do.”
Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash blasted McCarthy for the remarks saying, “I totally disagree with those comments.”
When asked by CNN if it could hurt his chances for speaker, Amash responded: “I think it should be a concern.”
“The Benghazi Committee exists because there should be an analysis of what actually happened and what the response was and if there was a cover-up afterwards,” Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday. “This isn’t to try to damage Hillary Clinton and I don’t quite understand why he said that. That’s the problem with Washington right now. They’re grasping to find something to say that they’ve done something positive. Well first of all, that’s not positive and secondly, that’s not the intent.”
The controversy began when McCarthy told Sean Hannity that the Benghazi investigative committee has contributed to Clinton’s falling poll numbers.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy told Hannity. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s un-trustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”