‘We’re Not That Far Away’: McCarthy Downplays Opposition To His Leadership Role

[Screenshot/Twitter/Manu Raju]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Speaker-designate Kevin McCarthy downplayed opposition to his leadership role while speaking to reporters Wednesday.

McCarthy appeared hopeful following his inability to receive the required 218 votes needed to become speaker. He garnered 203 votes on the first two ballots and 202 in the third. This phenomenon has not occurred on the House floor since December 1923.

“We’re not that far away,” McCarthy said. “We only need eleven more votes to win, so I think from the whole perspective, if you talk to anybody, it’s not that far away.”


He echoed a similar message in footage posted by CNN chief congressional correspondent Maju Raju. He told a crowd of reporters that it does not matter if he loses the support of twenty Republicans because he holds the most momentum.

“It doesn’t matter, I still have the most votes,” he said. “We can go through every name in the conference, but at the end of the day, we will be able to get there.” (RELATED: GOP Infighting Hits Fever Pitch Ahead Of Speaker Vote)

Twenty Republicans voted against McCarthy on Tuesday by nominating Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs on the first ballot and Jim Jordan of Ohio on the last two rounds. During the fourth round Wednesday, Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy nominated Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, who flipped his vote for McCarthy to Jordan in the third round.

Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed McCarthy in December, urged those in his party to elect the Speaker-designate. One of McCarthy’s most vocal opponents, Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, called Trump’s endorsement “sad,” and vowed to continue voting against McCarthy.