House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that the United States is in need of a “strong Republican Party.”
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said the prolonged vote to elect House Speaker Kevin McCarthy “would never happen” to Pelosi. He commended her skill in maintaining party unity when she served as speaker, which Pelosi contrasted with the “chaos” that broke out during the January speaker race.
“I wish he had won on the first vote,” Pelosi said. “I saw no joy in the disarray, the instability, the chaos that was being demonstrated … I said to him, ‘Just get it done.’ Right from the start, ‘Just get it done.’ I thought it was inept that they were not able to do it. Fifteen votes.”
Twenty House Republicans turned against McCarthy during the vote, putting him well short of the 218 votes he needed to become speaker. Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Byron Donalds of Florida were all nominated to challenge McCarthy. (RELATED: ‘VOTE FOR KEVIN’: Trump Doubles Down On McCarthy’s Speaker Bid)
The speaker finally won after four of his opponents — Reps. Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Bob Good of Virginia, and Matt Rosendale of Montana — voted “present” on the 15th ballot. McCarthy negotiated several concessions with his opponents, eventually leading fourteen representatives, including Donalds, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, to switch their votes to McCarthy.
“I will say this, you’ll be shocked probably, I think the country needs a strong Republican Party,” Pelosi continued, with Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski voicing their agreement. “This is not it and it’s not our judgement about what it should be, it’s their judgement, but it’s a missed opportunity for America,” Pelosi added.