Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told DailyMail.com he still hasn’t decided if he will seek re-election in 2024 after he was ousted by his colleagues two months ago.
In his first exclusive print interview since he lost his leadership role, McCarthy said he is still figuring out ‘what’s the best way to serve,’ with just over a week until the December 8 deadline to register as a candidate in California’s 20th Congressional District.
‘That’s coming up,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘I’ve got to make a decision. I have my papers and I’m looking at it.’
The top Republican left his options open, saying he doesn’t need a ‘title’ to continue representing the American public and help the country ‘move forward.’
He also had some advice for his successor Speaker Mike Johnson on how to deal with the GOP conference: ”Bring in a psychiatrist for many of these members.’
In McCarthy’s wide-ranging sit-down, he discussed multiple topics including his relationship with Donald Trump and his thoughts on Matt Gaetz – who led the unprecedented bid to vote him out as speaker in September.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told DailyMail.com he still hasn’t decided if he will seek re-election in 2024 after he was ousted by his colleagues two months ago
He has faced multiple questions about his political future after eight conservative colleagues joined the Democrats to take the gavel away in farcical scenes in the House.
‘One thing about me is I never give up,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘The great thing about the American public is you don’t have to have a title to be able to do it. Everybody should be engaged and be able to help this country move further and I’m going to look at the best place to do that.’
McCarthy declined to say whether he would stay on the rest of his term if he does not run for re-election.
‘You’re putting hypotheticals out there,’ he replied to a question from DailyMail.com. ‘I first have to decide what I’m going to do before I make a decision [on that].’
But McCarthy has not moved to join any committees since leaving the speaker’s office.
Days after his ouster two months ago, the former speaker had a different tune.
‘I’m not resigning, I’ve got a lot more work to do,’ he told reporters at the Capitol on October 6.
‘Yes’ he would run for re-election, he said at the time.
He does not think Johnson will face his same fate, despite the precarious position a single-member motion to vacate puts him in.
‘It will probably go better for him,’ McCarthy told DailyMail.com. ‘They can’t do it again. You watched the chaos of what happened. I don’t think the Republican Party will put up with it.’
He predicted House Republicans could keep their majority – despite the chaos. ‘The answer is easily yes, we can grow the majority.’
‘Next cycle is even better for the House Republicans than the last two cycles,’ the former speaker said, citing redistricting in North Carolina and a slew of Democratic retirements.
But questions remain about whether Johnson will be able to keep up with the prolific fundraising of his predecessor. McCarthy raised $78 million for the 2024 cycle during his time as speaker.
‘It’s a disadvantage because I had been for a while so I’ve raised a lot of money,’ McCarthy said of Johnson’s fundraising. ‘It’ll come. Mike Johnson is going to put the work in but we left him in a better place than I had before.’
During the wide-ranging interview the former speaker allowed himself a wistful moment, reflecting on the frenzied end to his nine-months with the gavel.
In his first exclusive print interview since he lost his leadership role, McCarthy said he is still figuring out ‘what’s the best way to serve,’ with just over a week until the December 8 deadline to register as a candidate in California ‘s 20th Congressional District
The top Republican left his options open, saying he doesn’t need a ‘title’ to continue representing the American public and help the country ‘move forward’
‘Everywhere I go, people walk up and say to me, ‘what happened to you is not right’,’ he said. ‘You know, you can’t look backwards. You’ve gotta look forward.’
‘I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.’
Matt Gaetz said he started the effort to force McCarthy’s ouster because he put a continuing resolution, CR, a bill that kept the government open by kicking the funding deadline down the road by six weeks on the House floor.
The so-called ‘clean’ CR did not include spending cuts – leaving spending at the 2023 levels that hardliners insisted on cutting.
McCarthy’s word of advice to Mike Johnson: ‘Bring in a psychiatrist’ to deal with Republicans
McCarthy put the CR on the House floor hours before the original funding deadline when it became clear there was no alternative to avoid a shutdown.
He said he ‘didn’t know’ at the time whether the CR would cost him his job, but said that didn’t factor into his decision-making. ‘I wasn’t concerned of whether I was going to get thrown out or not,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know if I would.’
McCarthy said it only became clear to him he would be the first speaker to be ousted from the job in the moments before the historic vote.
‘I called my leadership team, I said, ‘We’re not going to win this one.’ And I told them, ‘I’m not going to run (for Speaker) again.”