CNN’s Jake Tapper defended the handful of Republican representatives who have voted in opposition to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, saying it’s just a function of “democracy.”
The House began its sixth vote Wednesday afternoon to elect a speaker. McCarthy has failed to win a majority of votes, with a group of Republicans throwing their support behind several other nominees. Republicans first coalesced around Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs before turning their attention to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert nominated Florida Rep. Byron Donalds on Wednesday, splitting the vote for McCarthy once again. Boebert said her job is “not to coronate the biggest fundraiser or rubber stamp the status quo or keep on going along to get along. It’s to use our votes to elect a speaker who will enable us to get our country back on track.”
Tapper touched on this sentiment during a Wednesday panel, saying Republicans in opposition are performing democracy.
“Let me just turn and just say I know to the viewers out there, this probably seems chaotic and insane, but A: this is democracy. We can’t pretend this is – I mean, I think Congressman Gallagher was right earlier today. He said this is messy and democracy is messy. It’s a feature, not a bug. That’s true. These people are exercising their right to do that, and a lot of them, I don’t know all of them, but a lot of the 20 rebels are voting the way they’re voting because they actually want substantive changes to the rules.”
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has also been outspoken against McCarthy, by refusing to vote for him. (RELATED: ‘VOTE FOR KEVIN’: Trump Doubles Down On McCarthy’s Speaker Bid)
“If you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz and others who oppose McCarthy have been criticized by their fellow Republicans, with Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw calling them “enemies.”