House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy received a blow Wednesday in his bid to become speaker of the House, when the House Freedom Caucus chose to endorse Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.
The influential group of around 40 conservatives played a large part in Speaker John Boehner’s decision to step down at the end of October and has stated it wants a speaker who doesn’t marginalize its goals.
McCarthy has been attempting to separate himself from Boehner by touting himself as more conservative.
McCarthy recently came under fire for saying the Benghazi Select Committee factored into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s declining poll numbers, a comment his critics felt politicized the real meaning behind the investigation.
While McCarthy said he almost has the votes to secure the nomination, Webster’s new endorsement makes him far from a shoo-in for the position.
“I don’t think we’ve committed to anything on the floor yet,” Rep. David Brat told CNN.
McCarthy is also facing Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah for the top position in the House. The party will vote for its nominee Oct. 8, followed by a vote by the whole chamber Oct. 29. Boehner’s successor will then set up elections for the other leadership positions. (RELATED: Candidates For House Speaker Make Pitches To Conservative Lawmakers)
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