CNN’s Dana Bash commended former President Donald Trump for encouraging 20 Republican lawmakers to elect Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy as the next House speaker.
Twenty House Republicans opposed to McCarthy’s leadership voted against him on the seventh and eighth ballots Thursday, again preventing the Speaker-designate from receiving the 218 votes required to be handed the gavel. During CNN’s commentary on the vote, Bash accused the representatives of causing “chaos” on the House floor.
“They want this to look ridiculous. They want the chaos, they thrive on the chaos,” Bash said. “And that word ‘shame,’ I kind of love that word, because a couple of years ago, shame left Washington, and I don’t think it’s ever coming back. Because the notion of shame is what kept so many people in line, what kept so much … civility in tact, and that’s gone. And Donald Trump took shame and threw it in the garbage can. He made it okay to not feel that. And the irony is, at this very moment in time, he is one of those calling those twenty, saying ‘Come on, go with Kevin McCarthy.'”
“Now, I know that your [Kaitlan Collins] reporting is that it’s sort of a tepid lobbying campaign, but at least he’s doing it,” Bash added.
CNN anchor and former Daily Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins said Trump reportedly had not called any of the members since Tuesday, when Congress cast the first ballot. Trump endorsed McCarthy in December and has continued to support him throughout the House vote.
“The two things that Trump hates the most are to be ignored and to be called out,” Collins said. “His call to vote for McCarthy yesterday was ignored and Lauren Boebert called him out on the House floor, saying … she was not only not voting for Kevin McCarthy, but [Trump] should not tell people to vote for Kevin McCarthy.” (RELATED: ‘We’ll See What Happens’: Trump Declines To Renew McCarthy Endorsement)
“Trump has been sitting back more than you think, watching all of this. He knows that his calls are going unheeded, it’s not like he’s calling these twenty [Republicans] specifically and saying, ‘You must vote for Kevin McCarthy.’ He understands what’s happening here and that’s why he’s sitting back more than McCarthy and them would like for him to,” she continued.
Collins referenced Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s remark on the House floor Wednesday, in which she told Trump to stop urging the anti-McCarthy members to switch their votes. Boebert had previously nominated Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds to challenge McCarthy.
“Let’s stop with the campaign smears and tactics to get people to turn against us, even having my favorite president call us and tell us we need to knock this off, I think it actually needs to be reversed. The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that, ‘Sir, you do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw,’” she said.
The former president also received criticism from Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of McCarthy’s most vocal opponents, for continuing to endorse the Speaker-designate. Gaetz called Trump’s endorsement “sad.” Gaetz voted for Trump for speaker on the House floor Wednesday.