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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
McCarthy Voted Out, Says Won't Run For Speaker Again; Interview With Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO); Scalise Says "I Feel Great" When Asked If He Is Up For The Job Of Speaker. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 03, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): It is not right. Her chief-of-staff told all of us we have kept every single one of our words. And he said he's told her that, too.
Now somehow he gets fired off at the end of the job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last question.
MCCARTHY: I'm being too honest now?
MCCARTHY: Oh, my God. No, but do I regret the Democrats playing games with January 6th? Yes. They played so many politics.
What they did to this institution, and what they did to this building was so wrong. The idea that they put magnetometers there, the idea that they would go to any Republican member, that they had been co- sponsors of bills, and they no longer could be a co-sponsor.
That they would fine members $5,000.00 if the magnetometers went on, but when Nancy went around it, or Clyburn that was supposed to be fined, it all got waived.
The idea that bills didn't have to go through committee, the ideas that created a select committee on January 6, and they wouldn't let the minority appoint who to do it. Look, I'm trying to change all of that, and bring the body back so they can work together. But I think they did a lot of damage to us yesterday.
MCCARTHY: Well, that's always been my goal. You know, I just talked to Mitch yesterday, and I had call in to Schumer and I talked to Hakeem last night, what I was going to do is because we had passed -- we've taken five up, we passed four of them.
I was going to start individually, pre-conferencing so we can get this work done. I'm concerned with the timeline now.
Look, I truly believe at the end of the day, we can get this all worked out. I do believe at the end of the day, we could find common ground and do something about the border.
I don't know if this has caused problems. I was doing squawk today and had the other TV on MSNBC. The first time I saw MSNBC running a whole story about the border with people just walking across.
You know, Pritzker sent a letter yesterday about the immigration. Massachusetts governor, state of emergency. Connecticut -- everybody -- it is becoming the number one -- they cannot ignore it.
And I had told my members all before, I heard Gaetz say on the floor that, oh my God, Kevin asked for a stopgap measure, we came back.
The whole plan was because those eight and a few more had held up passing any of these approp bills all summer, I was going to do just what we did Saturday, a stopgap measure with disaster.
I had gone out to Hawaii, we look what happened in Florida. Those people shouldn't be held back, and we could finish doing it all individually, but somehow they think that's a dirty word.
MCCARTHY: Oh, yes, we had (INAUDIBLE). Oh, you know, my poor mom. Have you guys met my mom yet? My mom is fabulous. My mom is this Italian -- Italian lady and she calls me the other day. She said, "Oh," she gets worried. She reads what you guys write. And she says, I'm so nervous. I'm so nervous.
I said, why Mom? It is all right. She said last night, she went in the house and she left her car running in the garage all night long. My mom only fills her car up once a week at Costco on Wednesdays and calls me because the price is -- she still lives in California, the price of gas is so high. She asked me what I'm going to do about it.
But look, I think this job is always harder on your loved ones than you yourself. So they will be okay.
QUESTION: Did you make the signed deal (INAUDIBLE)?
MCCARTHY: No. No. Look, unequivocally, looking now -- oh, well, if you want to categorize this, let me just say, because some people think, some people said this.
I did tell, when we were doing the stopgap measure. There was a concern in there, does it have transferability on money? I believed and my staff believed it did, but what I did say to the White House, if it does not, if you think some way it doesn't do it the way -- I will fix that. I did say that and I did say I do.
Look, I support arming Ukraine. That doesn't mean sending them cash, but arming Ukraine, but I have been on the White House even before they sent this supplemental. I said you guys are doing it all wrong by just sending it as a supplemental.
And I think the president is failing here, because he is not telling the American public what is the mission?
I have a -- we have a lot of members who are Navy SEALs who've been in theater and F-18 pilots and they're frustrated. They want to support, but they don't want to support an ever ending war. They want to see what's going on here.
And I've really been on the White House. You've got to come down and talk about it, but you should listen to them and the prospects.
I'm really concerned though long term what's happening around looks a lot like the 1930s. A lot of actions that Putin takes is very similar to Hitler. If you are --
If you are history buffs, you'll know, Hitler served in the World War One army, right? He hated that his country collapsed and they signed the Treaty of Versailles. And what did he do? He ran and created a new party and ran in democracy again and again and again until he won.
And when he won, what did he do? He took the freedoms away. And then he rebuilt his military. And even though it went against the Treaty of Versailles, the world power said nothing.
And then what did he do? He took part of Czechoslovakia. He took Austria, and then he told the entire world, he is going to take the rest of it on a given day.
So now the world power could not sit back. So in come Neville Chamberlain. What happened? Well, Hitler loved it because he was equal now to the world power, but he saw a weakness.
Neville Chamberlain made him sign a piece of paper and told us peace for our time, and then he invaded Poland the next year and World War Two began.
If you study Putin, Putin didn't serve in the Soviet Union Army, but he served in the KGB. He hated that his country collapsed to the West. He hated it so much when Gorbachev died, he still didn't attend the funeral. What did he do? He rebuilt his military.
But he learned something: A military makes you strong, but dependency makes you weak. He rebuilt it by selling his natural gas to Europe. But when his pipeline that went through Ukraine, when they changed power, he didn't want to pay. So he proposed a new pipeline, Nord Stream 2.
Everybody loved it. America, at least sanctioned it. Merkel said, great. But what did he do when we rebuilt his military? He invaded Georgia, took part of the Donbas, took Crimea, and the world powers really didn't say much. But then when he parked 100,000 troops on the border of Ukraine, and after he watched Afghanistan collapse, that's going to give us challenges for the next two decades. He got his meeting with the world power.
So in comes Biden, and what does Biden do? He lifts the sanctions off Nord Stream 2, but asks nothing for it. Putin, misreads that and invades Ukraine, thinking it would collapse in two weeks based upon Afghanistan.
But now we have something even worse that's happened in the 1930s. Before Hitler moved, he created an axis of power, right, with Italy and Japan, all countries who wanted to expand their sphere of influence.
Before Putin invaded Afghanistan, what did he do? Create an axis of power with China, North Korea, and Iran -- all countries who want to expand their sphere of influence.
So what we do here is very important. We can't sit there and just collapse it, because it looked from Afghanistan. We can't just throw money at it. If we provide the weapons to be successful, but why it's so much personal to me, in 20 -- was it 2014 or 2015 -- when Putin invaded the first time, I went to Ukraine, and then I came back.
And I took a bipartisan group, and we went to the White House. And we sat in the Situation Room with then, the vice president, who was in charge of Ukraine, Joe Biden, and we advocated, let's sell them javelins, so they can stop tanks, so they wouldn't invade.
He said no. He said, Europeans wouldn't want it. I said, well, why don't we sell them to them now and keep them in Poland? He didn't think that was right. And I fear of making the same mistake twice in sending the wrong messages.
But the thing I would tell everybody is, more Americans are dying on the southern border than are dying in Ukraine. Each and every day, a plane of Americans crash from fentanyl, and I don't understand how the White House continues to ignore it.
My whole plan and I've been upfront from the very beginning, what I would say, if you want anything on Ukraine, we've got to do something with the border.
QUESTION: Mr. McCarthy, you mentioned earlier you were (INAUDIBLE).
MCCARTHY: I was joking. They're all right.
QUESTION: Are you considering supporting primary challengers to (INAUDIBLE).
MCCARTHY: Well, you know, one of the things when I was running for speaker, I said I couldn't get involved in primaries. But I told the conference, I'm a free agent now. I think I'm pretty good at electing people.
QUESTION: Mr. McCarthy, when was the last time you spoke to President Biden and do you expect to now?
MCCARTHY: You know, I was thinking about that. It's been a long, long time. I couldn't remember when I spoke to him last.
MCCARTHY: You know, I've worked with a couple of different presidents. I would have thought -- I thought we had built some respect for one another going through the debt ceiling. I know he got frustrated with me, but -- and I have a great deal of respect for the people in his office I worked with.
Ricchetti and all of them, I think they're -- look, we have different philosophies -- Shuwanza and the others -- they are smart. I respect them. They were honest. And I thought we made a good agreement.
As a president, I would engage more. I think being hands on -- look, you're the leader of the free world. All the other presidents I think bringing people together is a better way, talking through stuff. When you're in those rooms, you can talk about all sorts of things.
QUESTION: Do you think (INAUDIBLE).
MCCARTHY: To what part?
QUESTION: The part that you guys (INAUDIBLE).
MCCARTHY: No. Let's talk about that. You guys play with -- and remember what an impeachment inquiry is. It is simply the ability to give the House Republicans and Democrats the power when you request for information.
So if you were lawmakers, and I hold you in high esteem, because you are investigative reporters and you're supposed to cover this stuff. When I came into power, I didn't know any of this.
I did not know when he was vice president that his family created 20 shell companies, I had no idea about that. I am not saying that's wrong. I did not know they got 16 of the 17 payments from Romania while he was vice president, and he was supposed to be in charge of Romania. I didn't know that.
I had no idea when a whistleblower came to us and said that the FBI has an informant, they still pay, who claims that the president was bribed by $5 million. It was interesting, we had to fight to get that document. And when we got that document, it said it'd be hard to find because he has a lot of shell companies.
Then I had no idea that IRS agents would come to us. How would I know? They've come to us and said, look, we've worked for 16 years. We don't have any political basis on the other side. But we're concerned with what's happened here, that DOJ allowed the statute of limitations to run out, that they weren't allowed to interview Hunter because when they went to the FBI, they told them, and then they even told the Inaugural Committee, I don't know how that would play in, that the DOJ would call Hunter Biden's attorneys and tell them that they did even know about a storage unit with all the papers before they could go there.
The president told us he never had a meeting. He never talked to his son. Look, when he said he never talked to his son, I didn't believe then. I don't think it's wrong if you talk to your son, I want you to talk to your kids about anything, right? It doesn't mean you're influencing something.
But he literally -- I had no idea that the partner to Hunter Biden that also served on Ukrainian energy board said they would literally call him to meetings, and then he said that they were getting a lot of pressure, Burisma, to do something about the Ukraine prosecutor.
And I did know the president tell the entire country that he withheld a billion dollars of American taxpayer money to get rid of the prosecutor.
And then we found out that the president not only called into meetings, that he went to Cafe Milano. He went to Cafe Milano more times, and met with the foreign business partners of Hunter Biden than he has gone to the border in 50 years.
But with each meeting that you went to Cafe Milano, and I've never had this happen. I've been to Cafe Milano, but I've never gotten a new Porsche the next day, and I never got $3 million wired to me from a Russian oligarch.
So if you knew all of that, would you at least say: Hmm. I think there's more things.
We've never asked for the tax or the bank statements of the president, of Hunter, or anybody else. And these 20 shell companies had credit cards that were being paid.
Now, this laptop that was supposed to be Russian that we now found out was Hunter, in there, he did say his father would take the money from him. He did make -- and we did find out that the president -- I didn't know this when I became speaker -- used another name while he was vice president for e-mails.
And in one of the e-mails, it said that it only went to him and his son Hunter, and it was about a phone call he was going to have with the president of Ukraine.
Now, if you knew all of that, would you say: Oh, I don't have any more questions, or would you at least as a lawmaker and you have role here, wouldn't you at least say, okay, well we're going to have to go get some more documents and if you're going to get more documents, I just want to make sure if they're going to fight it and string everything out, that we can get it.
That's all impeachment inquiry.
Now, if that made the president upset, maybe he shouldn't have lied to us from the beginning. Yes.
MCCARTHY: I doubt if that's true.
MCCARTHY: Look, I didn't say that. I was just told that by Democrats in the conference, that's what helped them make their decision that a lot of frontline -- I think their quote was, why would we help the person that becomes our executioner?
So, I mean --
MCCARTHY: No, I'm sure Matt Gaetz will give the NRCS a lot of money. He raised a lot online.
MCCARTHY: I'm not quite sure. I don't need to find out about that.
MCCARTHY: Look, judge me by my enemies.
QUESTION: Have you spoken to the President Biden (INAUDIBLE).
MCCARTHY: Well, let me ask you this. Let me ask you this. Would we ever have gotten a debt ceiling?
Schumer said, he never talked to us. Schumer went on a Sunday show, watch Kevin's going to break. The president said he would never talk to me, that we just had to raise it. Have we not passed the bill? We never got it. So yes, I think it worked well.
All right, yes.
MCCARTHY: Well, no, I'll continue to help all the way possible.
Look, I've been very fortunate. When I came to Congress in my second term, I got to be Chief Deputy Whip. I got to be Majority Whip, I got to be Majority Leader. I've been Minority Leader and I've been Speaker. I've been blessed.
And there is something about 10,000 hours I believe in it, lots of different experience and I believe in bringing new blood up and helping them and I want to help them all the way.
Look, I enjoy you. I don't know if you'll cover me as much, but I'm sure I won't miss you, but see you soon.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: A wide-ranging former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy holding forth on a broad variety of subjects from budget deals to impeaching presidents to appeasing Hitler at the end of a history making day that saw him ousted as speaker.
Good evening, along with Jake Tapper and Kaitlan Collins, thanks for joining us.
That was now Congressman McCarthy Speaking to reporters and just moments ago, saying that he would not be trying to get that job back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: I don't regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance. It is my responsibility. It is my job.
I do not regret negotiating. Our government is designed to find compromise. I don't regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions.
I was raised to solve problems, not create them. So I may have lost the vote today, but as I walk out of this chamber, I feel fortunate to have served the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Kevin McCarthy taking his name out of the running, which in turn came moments after the House Republican conference meeting would set a vote on his replacement for next week, according to members afterwards, meaning it seems a week-long power vacuum for the House, a week of would-be leaders maneuvering for position and a week in which nothing of any consequence in Congress gets done.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Anderson, it was quite a finish to an already historic day, a House speaker undone by a rebellion within his party led by ultra-MAGA Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.
The last time there was a Motion to Vacate, a vote to get rid of a speaker was in 1910, but Speaker Joe Cannon soundly survived that vote, Speaker Kevin McCarthy not so much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yeas are 216, the nays are 210.
The resolution is adopted without objection. The Motion to Reconsider is laid on the table. The Office of Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Moments after that, Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry of North Carolina gaveled out the session and it kind of looked like he was pretending he was hitting Matt Gaetz's head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): The chair declares the House in recess, subject to the call of the chair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Very angry.
Eight Republican members led by Gaetz sealed McCarthy's fate, using the one vote motion to vacate tool that McCarthy rather recklessly agreed to in order to get the speakership.
McCarthy rode the tiger as John F. Kennedy famously said, and then found himself inside it after just 269 days or about 27 Scaramucci's on the job or as goes the meme of our era, Anderson, I never thought leopards would eat my face sobs woman who voted for the leopards eating people's faces party.
COOPER: And now Jake, having done what's never been done before, Republican lawmakers tonight have left themselves unable to agree on what to do next.
Our Manu Raju has been in the center of this all day. So we start with him for the very latest.
So what more do we know about McCarthy's decision not to run for speaker again?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, he really didn't have a path to 218 votes, which is what he would need in order to be elected speaker. Those eight members in the Republican Party, of course, voting to oust him joining with all Democrats.
So McCarthy had indicated for some time that he probably -- he wanted to go to the floor. He was going to fight it out. That was what he was suggesting.
But in recent days, he had been coy and sidestepping that question, when I put it to him over and over again, and ultimately making a decision here that there's simply no path for him.
So now the question is, where does the Republican Party go from here? Who can actually get 218 votes? Already, several names are emerging, Anderson, but at the moment, nobody has a path to victory, which means that it is going to be several days before members are to float their names, a successor they'll have, whether they have support before we head into that speaker's race next week.
In the meantime, everything is stalled here in the house -- Anderson.
COOPER: I know you asked Jim Jordan, if he'd run it, he didn't rule it out. RAJU: Yes, he didn't rule it out, which is actually news because last -- over the last several years and in the run up to McCarthy's election of speaker back in January, he's refused. He said, I don't want to be speaker. I want to be the House Judiciary Committee chairman, but a much different tune earlier today as a number of Republican critics of these hardliners, these McCarthy allies went after those eight Republicans and said that they're undermining the Republican majority and threatened their hold on power in next year's elections.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. AUSTIN SCOTT (R-GA): I think Kevin recognizes that nobody can make their demands. And the conference is going to have to figure out how we -- how we deal with, you know, eight people that are here that candidly aren't interested in governing. They're more interested in, you know, grifting.
REP. DERRICK VAN ORDEN (R-MN): Republicans who have been claiming to be fiscal conservatives, just voted with every single Democrat in the House of Representatives. That would be the equivalent of every Republican voting for Nancy Pelosi. That's what they did.
RAJU: Mr. Jordan, how disappointed are you with what happened here with Speaker McCarthy?
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I thought it was unfair to -- unfair to Kevin. Kevin, I think he's done a fine job, and he and I came in together. He's a good man and he didn't deserve this in my judgment.
RAJU: You will you run for speaker.
JORDAN: That's a decision for the conference.
RAJU: So are you open to it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So clearly leaving the option open there. So there will be a lot of talk about Jordan because some of the members on the far right have been pushing him. He is also aligned with that of McCarthy allies themselves.
So where Jordan goes remains to be seen, but he could have a race on his hand. It is still uncertain what Steve Scalise will do. He is the number two Republican. He was under Speaker McCarthy. He was the House Majority leader. He has not said what he plans to do.
Questions too about Tom Emmer, who's the Republican Whip, although Emmer suggested that he potentially could get behind Steve Scalise, and another name, too, Kevin Hearn, who is the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest conservative group in the House has indicated privately that he's open to running for speaker.
So, Anderson, this decision by McCarthy in this historic day opens up a chaotic series of days as the Republicans try to figure out their way forward, try to figure out a new speaker of the House, and that has huge implications for the agenda, trying to avoid a government shutdown in a month, and also their efforts to take back that House as the speaker of course, is a key driver of their message, their strategy, their tactics, their fundraising.
So major questions for Republicans, but at the moment, no consensus behind who could succeed Speaker McCarthy.
COOPER: Manu Raju, appreciate it. Thank you.
Joining us now, Colorado Republican Congressman Ken Buck, who voted two oust Kevin McCarthy.
Congressman, what is your reaction to Kevin McCarthy saying that he will not run for speaker again?
REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): I think that's a positive thing, and I credit Kevin for doing that. I think we need to move on. I think we need to find a new speaker.
We've got several days. I'm sure there's going to be conversations going on all over the country about how we move forward.
Obviously Steve Scalise is next in line. I think people will respect that. He has some health issues, so we'll just see what his decision is on whether he's running for speaker.
COOPER: What about Jim Jordan in your opinion?
BUCK: I think Jim is one of the names also out there. You know, I'm not going to make a decision until I know who's running and listen to them and hear them make a case for why they should be next up.
COOPER: One of the Republican Congressman talking to Manu Raju in that soundbite just a moment ago said that the eight who voted against McCarthy aren't interested in actually getting things done and I think he referred to all eight as grifters. You're obviously one of those eight. How do you take that?
BUCK: I think the criticism comes with the job. I am interested in making sure we move 12 appropriations bills forward that we stopped this reckless spending spree that Congress has been on. For 27 years, we have passed an omnibus instead of the 12 bills. This year, we were promised the 12 bills. We're not there yet, and I hope we get there.
COOPER: So what was it that made you decide to want to get rid of McCarthy?
BUCK: I really don't want to look back, Anderson, there was a lot of conversation about that in the past. I want to look forward and make sure we do the best we can for the United States Congress and make sure that we are passing laws and getting the job done. COOPER: You are certainly considered a conservative. Kevin McCarthy just said at his press conference that the eight Republicans who voted against him are not conservatives.
BUCK: Yes, I would put my record up -- my voting record up against anybody in the conference in terms of conservative votes.
I am particularly conservative when it comes to spending bills, and that is -- that has been the weakness this year for the Republican conference.
We have one bill passed before last week. We passed three last week. We've got eight more to go and the deadline passed on September 30th. So we should have been doing this in June. We should have been doing this in July.
I think a lot of people conflate the fact that the Democrats want Kevin McCarthy out for one reason, and conservative Republicans want him out for another reason. It doesn't make us less conservative, it makes us more practical in how we get the spending bills done.
COOPER: What about -- I mean, all the spending under the previous administration?
BUCK: I'm not -- oh, you mean under the Trump administration?
BUCK: Absolutely. I voted against those spending mills also. I am not excusing Republicans.
Anderson, this is a bipartisan bankruptcy. This is not one party. This is both parties engaging with the special interest groups in this town to bankrupt America. We're going to be at $33 trillion of debt soon, going up to 36. It is not Republicans' fault alone or Democrats' fault alone. It is something that has historically happened in this country.
COOPER: To those who say that maybe not you included, but the people, the eight who voted against him, people point to Matt Gaetz as being not interested in actually compromise -- a compromise is a dirty word that actually, you know, reaching over to the other side, maybe having discussions and figuring out some sort of compromise for both parties is the only way to get things done. Do you agree with that?
BUCK: I absolutely agree with that. I worked very hard on antitrust bills in this body with Democrats. I've worked very hard on many other bills in this body with Democrats. What you start in the compromise, you start with two different positions, the House will have one position on a piece of legislation that it passes, and the Senate will have a different one, and then you compromise between the two bodies.
If you give up your position early on in that negotiation, you don't have a compromise anymore, you have a capitulation. And we can't afford that.
So I'm happy to pass 12 appropriations bills and then have the compromise with the Senate.
COOPER: Congressman Ken Buck, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
BUCK: Thank you.
TAPER: All right, Anderson, just to add a little color to the dynamics between now Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Congressman Matt Gaetz, I want to show you what McCarthy tweeted last night, shortly before Gaetz launched his challenge. Here it is McCarthy said "Bring it on." And Gaetz did brung it.
With me here CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, our chief political correspondent Dana Bash, CNN's Audie Cornish, host of the wonderful podcast, "The Assignment," and CNN political director, David Chalian.
Let's take a moment to reflect on the -- I don't know if it's a farewell press conference, whatever it was, but Kevin McCarthy started off with kind of a statesman-like address to the masses, and before it was over, he was going through the litany of Hunter Biden innuendos, faulting the Democrats for their behavior regarding January 6, which was an interesting twist and going member by member in terms of the House Republicans who voted against him, even getting into the granular detail about whether or not Congresswoman Nancy Mace's chief- of-staff sided with him and not her.
You kind of got an understanding there may be of why he lost his job.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He -- it was Kevin McCarthy unplugged. It was Kevin McCarthy, obviously, with a lot on his chest that he wanted to get out there about the people who wronged him. I mean, there were a lot of -- from his perspective, the people who wronged him.
There were a lot of small jabs, like what we just heard about from Nancy Mace. And then there were big accusations and criticisms, philosophical criticisms about the eight, generally speaking, that he says, look, they're not conservative. I'm conservative.
They're just people who are in the no caucus. They don't really believe what they claim that they believe. I mean, someone like Ken Buck, who was talking to Anderson before, he is a true fiscal conservative --
BASH: But Matt Gaetz is at them. He's really talking about Matt Gaetz, in particular. And this is going to take a long time for this House conference to heal. It is raw, it is ugly, it is very, very shredded when it comes to the Republican family in the House of Representatives. And there are a whole bunch of reasons for that, but right now, it's -- I've never seen anything like this.
TAPPER: Yes. And, I mean, it was a different Republican who said a House divided cannot stand. We saw a real succession when the Pelosi generation handed over power to Hakeem Jeffries and Katherine Clark and the others.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It was smooth.
TAPPER: Very smooth. And the tumult we're about to see, not only is there not just automatically going from Kevin McCarthy to his number two, Steve Scalise, and on and on, it's going to be a free for all, it's going to be a melee.
TAPPER: And instead of just like proceeding to a vote this evening, as I guess I thought that they might just proceed to votes, the House is adjourning until next week. There's going to be a candidate forum. They really -- they're in charge of the House of Representatives, and they had no idea what to do.
BORGER: And all businesses stopped, basically. A lot of businesses stopped.
TAPPER: They are supposed to be doing the people's business right now.
BORGER: Now they're trying to figure out who can lead them. And, you know, McCarthy's goodbye, as you said, it started out in a generous way. And then it sort of went into this stream of consciousness, almost, about everybody he was aggrieved against, particularly Matt Gaetz, particularly the eight people who voted against him, the eight Republicans, where he said the country was too great for the small visions of these eight.
And then it went downhill from there. And so, you have McCarthy also making it clear that while he said he wasn't going to get involved in primaries, if he were to become speaker, he also made it clear that now he's going to get involved in primaries.
And so I think there's going to be a lot of retribution here, and this doesn't help the conference heal itself because there are all kinds of factions. I mean, I was texting with someone who said to me that that Matt Gaetz is a leper and a cancer on the Republican Party. And so this isn't over yet.
And, you know, as Dana was saying, they want to get somebody soon, maybe by next week, if they can do that. But how can they do that if they -- if the hard feelings are the way they are?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I mean, it is the least surprising development in some ways that we got to this moment, right? Because we all sat here in January --
CHALIAN: -- when Kevin McCarthy was seeking to become speaker and when we learned that he made this concession about one person can bring the motion to vacate --
TAPPER: And we all said, oh man.
CHALIAN: We all said, well, this is going to be a bumpy ride. He's going to be living with this hanging over his head the entire time. What maybe is a bit more surprising than that, this was the fate that he met, it's just what happened in the recent weeks to get here, of avoiding America's first ever default. Keeping the government open and operating.
BASH: Fireable fence.
CHALIAN: I -- just like -- and this very small portion of his party fired him from his job because of doing responsible governing things. That is -- when you say, this is going to take a long time and it's wrong --
CHALIAN: -- it's like they -- the Republican conference has to figure out how to solve for that because if you can't be -- if you fire people who are taking governing positions as your leaders, you're not going to be a functional majority party.
TAPPER: So Audie, it is -- when we -- I interviewed Congresswoman Jayapal earlier, the Democrat from Washington state and she made the point, it is not the responsibility of the minority party to pick the speaker, and that's absolutely true, 100 percent.
But, Speaker McCarthy theoretically could have kept his job if he had made some sort of deal with Democrats. He -- I'm sure they would have wanted it in writing based on their feelings about his trustworthiness, but he could have made some sort of deal. They would have wanted some sort of power sharing.
Obviously, it would have been negotiated, but the idea of that was such poison to him that he would rather lose his job -- we still don't even know if he's going to stay in Congress -- he would rather go out than even remotely try to work in a bipartisan way.
Remember, the job is speaker of the House, not speaker of the majority. But that's where we are, like -- and the next speaker, I'm sure, is going to try to do the same thing. Try to run this caucus, this conference, even with these unruly six to eight that are make it all but ungovernable because the idea of even remotely getting into bed with the Democrats is so horrifying, that it's -- they just can't even entertain the notion.
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: I think one interesting thing is every few years in Washington, I feel like we sort of say farewell to a certain kind of Republican. And with Kevin McCarthy, it's the young gun. Those people who came in in 2010, your Paul Ryans and your Eric Cantors. And if you're too young to remember those names, then that's part of the problem because they didn't make it, right? They didn't become the next generation of leaders, they became the next generation of ousted leaders. And Kevin McCarthy is the final one of that group to effectively get up and say, I didn't get the job done.
Now, as that speech gets longer, and he tries to massage what his political legacy in write up will be, we heard a lot of other ramblings. We heard about his mom, the Treaty of Versailles, I think Nazis came up, it was a lot.
But I think it's that desperation to try and hold onto a narrative that isn't a narrative of failure. It's a narrative that says, look, I tried and did my best and it's going to take a couple days because who the heck wants that job after watching this?
TAPPER: Yes, he mentioned Neville Chamberlain and I thought he was going to take a turn into the lessons of appeasement.
BASH: Appeasement, yes.
TAPPER: But he did not --
CORNISH: Right. For the best.
TAPPER: He did not. Stick around because we're going to pick this back up in a second, but we have with us Congressman Mark Alford, a Republican of Missouri. We spoke earlier today before this all went down.
Congressman Alford, you voted for Kevin McCarthy to remain as speaker. What was your reaction when he lost, and what was your reaction when he announced he's not even going to run again next week when you have your leadership race again?
REP. MARK ALFORD (R), MISSOURI: Jake, back in November of last year after we won our election in Missouri, we came up here for orientation. We're about 20 steps away from the House chamber. There have been two times that I've shed a tear in these nine months.
The first time I stepped on that floor and realized that the voters believed in me enough to send me here, that I was one of 12,000 in history or fewer to be on this House floor to try to make a difference. And then today, when the motion of vacate passed, and they basically fired Kevin McCarthy.
We huddled with the chaplain of the House and about 15 other members. You know, above the speaker's rostrum there, and above the flag of the United States of America, are four words, In God We Trust. I'm trusting God that he is going to raise up the next speaker of the House. It's going to be able to fight what Kevin's been fighting and successfully do so, to try to bring our conference together and get things done for the American people.
TAPPER: Why is the number two, Congressman Steve Scalise from Louisiana, why is it just not automatically going to go to him? ALFORD: Well, this is no rite of passage for anyone. The speaker of the House, the third most powerful person in the United States of America, that seat has to be elected rightfully and dutifully so by the U.S. Constitution, the members of the House. It's not just given to anyone.
Yes, Majority Leader Scalise has done a lot to bring our conference together. Probably one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He's fighting blood cancer right now. And doing so with a valiant heart and great spirit. He survived an assassination attempt.
There is no one who is a tougher, harder fighter than Steve Scalise. That decision is going to be up between him and his wife and his God, to figure out if that's the right job. And then we'll go from there.
There are a lot of people already making plays that you've probably seen on social media, reaching out, trying to find out where members hearts and minds are in this next process.
TAPPER: Some of the names we've heard, obviously, Jim Jordan the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee from Ohio. We've heard Matt Gaetz has raised the names Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Tom Emmer of Minnesota. We've also heard Kevin Hern, I believe he's from Oklahoma, talk about maybe running. What other names have you heard and is there anybody in particular that you like at this point?
ALFORD: I like all of them. And that's not just the political answers. I smoke a few cigars with Tom Cole. A great guy. He says he's not running.
TAPPER: He's not, OK.
ALFORD: Jim -- that's what he told us. And I think on another network, he made that statement as well. Jim Jordan, a great guy. You know, when I was coming up here, the people in my district said don't vote for Kevin McCarthy, vote for Jim Jordan.
I said, well, Jim Jordan's not running, he's voting for Kevin McCarthy. So, now that he's running, I think he deserves a close look. Tom Emmer, our majority whip, is also a great individual, a man of integrity. There are quite a few names. Jodey Arrington, our budget chair. No one has a better grasp on the budget and that is the singular thing, that and border security, two things that we need to really correct in America if we can move forward.
TAPPER: Very interesting. Congressman Alford and for those people out there wondering how he's such a great communicator, he was a TV news anchor before he was a congressman.
Great preparation for a career in politics, I'm told. Thanks for joining us. Really appreciate it, sir.
ALFORD: Thanks. TAPPER: Let me throw to my colleague, Kaitlan Collins.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Jake. Here with me, two of the best political minds on either side of the aisle. Hopefully they can answer some questions about what we expect to happen next. Paul Begala, Doug Heye. I mean, the 269 days of the Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker era is now over.
You just heard the congressman there saying he likes a bevy of people, but the question is who is actually someone who, a, wants this job, given they're going to have another funding fight in about 40 days from now and can actually get the vote.
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'll give you two answers pretty quickly. One, the circus moves on very quickly. When I worked for Majority Leader Cantor and he lost in his primary, he stayed Majority Leader for a little while, not long, and then left office before his term was up because the party and the conference moves on from under you.
That's just reality. And so, it seemed like Kevin wasn't going to have a shot there. And now we see there are a lot of people who are interested in it. Who actually runs is a much more difficult question. And it's about how much support you can garner. Can you get 30 supporters here, 20 supporters there, and that's when you start to plan. How do I get to 218?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, they've got to find somebody. The one thing I will say Kevin McCarthy brought to his conference was he's a great fundraiser, right?
COLLINS: Yes. A profitable fundraiser.
BEGALA: Nobody ever accused him of being a big brain on policy. He's certainly unburdened by fidelity to the truth. But really good fundraiser. So they're going to need that. But even before that, it's got to be somebody who, like Paul Ryan did, cut a deal and came at it with a position of strength.
Because Ryan didn't really want it that badly. The conference felt like they needed Paul Ryan.
COLLINS: He didn't want it at all.
BEGALA: Right. This person has got to say, if you want me to be your leader, give me the power to lead. By which, I mean, don't do a -- Kevin McCarthy was weaker than bus stop chili. And because from day one, he empowered the most eccentric members of his conference. The next person has got to learn from that and say, no, I'm going to lead you're going to follow.
COLLINS: Yes, even though tonight you heard him in that press conference saying, you know, he did not make concessions. I mean, we saw what happened in this --
BEGALA: That's what I mean about the truth. I'm sorry. COLLINS: Paul, you know, we've got a week before they have even an election for the next House speaker. They're all going home. Behind us right now, there is a pro tem, Patrick McHenry, who is actually the chief deputy whip to John Boehner, who is now in charge.
One of his first moves that he has just made as the temporary speaker of the House is filling in is to ask former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her hideaway. It's an office. You don't see many of those often in the House. There's more on the Senate side.
Obviously, she's not here. What do you make of that move?
BEGALA: McHenry has a good reputation. This goes against that reputation. It's a low class move, let's just be honest. Speaker Emerita Pelosi is in California to bury one of her best friends, Senator Dianne Feinstein.
You really, that's the first thing you want to do is disrespect Nancy Pelosi, who, by the way, I -- you know, I'm a Democrat, but I've been here a long time. I've worked in this building for the House Majority Leader when the Democrats ran the place years ago.
Nancy Pelosi is the most effective speaker in American history. Period. Did more, passed more important bills with a smaller majority than anyone in history.
Kevin McCarthy is now maybe the worst speaker, least successful speaker in history. So for Mr. McHenry to come in as a temporary guy just filling in and the first thing he does is disrespect, he's -- I just don't think that helps. It doesn't help him politically. It certainly doesn't help him within that building.
COLLINS: Well, and one of the comments that McCarthy was making it that very lengthy and exhaustive press conference, Doug, was saying that when he took this job, when that motion to vacate that one vote was a threshold that he needed to get the votes, he claims that Pelosi essentially argued that she would be able to back him up if he needed it.
HEYE: Yes. First thing is, I want to go to bus stops with Paul and find out what chili's he's having --
BEGALA: It's watered down and weak, man. You don't want to eat that.
HEYE: No, the train station chili is different, but it sort of seems an unprovable deal. And obviously, if we talk to Nancy Pelosi right now, she would tell us that she didn't make a deal --
HEYE: -- with Kevin McCarthy. What the truth is there, we don't know. But I think we know that that's not a position of strength to be in, and ultimately tells us why we are where we are. If you're going into this process saying, well, if I can lose by only one vote, I'll be saved by a Democrat. Well, you're probably not going to lose by one vote, and you're probably not going to be saved by a Democrat.
BEGALA: Well, I did some digging on this today. I talked to people on the Democratic side in the House, and most of them said the way that Kevin McCarthy conducted himself after January 6th, where at first he criticized Mr. Trump, and then 72 hours later went to Mar-a-Lago to kiss his ring.
But the front lines, the most moderate Democrats, the ones who might be most inclined to help Kevin McCarthy, were absolutely furious with him, and they felt like he broke his word by opening an impeachment investigation when there are no facts to warrant one.
And so, he lost every friend he could have had in the Democratic Party. That's not Nancy Pelosi's fault.
COLLINS: Yes. Well, and speaking of Mar-a-Lago, it's been a lot of silence from the former president today. We'll get to that in a moment.
Paul Begala, Doug Heye, thank you both.
Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Kaitlan, thanks.
I'm joined now by Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell. He was one of two Democrats denied seats on the House Intelligence Committee by Kevin McCarthy for taking lead roles in the impeachments of the former president. Swalwell called what McCarthy did an act of, quote, political vengeance.
Congressman, appreciate you being with us. What is your reaction to Kevin McCarthy's decision not to run for speaker?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, it's the right decision because he's brought chaos to the country and it's the first time in nine months, Anderson, where I've seen him put the country in front of his own job.
But, you know, just stepping back and thinking about, like, what do my constituents think of this? They think it's tragic and they look at the failures that MAGA GOP has put upon us, and they see this bucket of crabs that keeps trying to pull the rest of the country down into the chaos that they crave.
And they see that although Republicans are the majority party in the House, they're working as an opposition party. They're opposed within themselves and then they're opposed to just getting things. And so when I think of, you know, what do we have to do next as Democrats, we have to keep showing competence, keep showing community, and contrast it with chaos on their side.
And think of the country, by the way, Anderson, as a Corvette, a Cadillac, a luxury car, and you don't give the keys to a luxury car to people who are going to crash it. And so, this is the reason they can never be given the keys again when we go to the polls for governing, because they're going to continue to crash.
COOPER: So the House is not reconvening until next week, so nothing gets done until then.
SWALWELL: Well, you know, that's going to be a real issue because we have to fund the government because these geniuses were only able to put up a bill that took us to the next 45 days. So paychecks for troops and cops and border agents are all at risk. And so, you know, they need to get their act together and get back to work.
And if they're going to be an opposition party, I hope that maybe some moderates would look at, well, how do you join a team Jeffries and help Speaker Jeffries, who has shown unity in extending the debt ceiling, in keeping government open, in funding Ukraine. How do you join a team that gets things done for the best of the country?
COOPER: Can you just talk about the deliberations among your Democratic colleagues about the decision not to throw a lifeline to Kevin McCarthy?
SWALWELL: Yes, I was in the room today, Anderson, and what I saw was a party that was united that believed that, you know, our diversity is our strength, but our unity is our power, as our former speaker said. But also, a party that saw Kevin McCarthy on Sunday go on another network and say that Democrats caused the shutdown.
And if you were a Democrat that took, you know, that vote to keep government open in your tough district, and Kevin McCarthy thinks that he's going to rely on you to save him, forget it. You -- he just threw them under the bus and he showed himself to be who he's been this whole time, which is somebody that neither side clearly is able to trust.
COOPER: So who do you think can actually win as speaker?
SWALWELL: Look, there's a lot of Republicans who have been responsible, who have, I think, govern for the best of the country. It's their decision.
You're going to see unity again on this speaker vote. We're going to say Speaker Jeffries. And again, I don't think it's too crazy of an idea that reasonable Republicans hopefully would want to work for the, you know, sake of competence and community over chaos.
So we'll stand ready to be united for the sake of the country. And hopefully that's greater than those who want to recap it.
COOPER: Congressman Swalwell, appreciate your time today.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
COOPER: Thank you.
Joining me now, CNN Senior Political Commentator Scott Jennings, former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent, also CNN Political Commentators Alyssa Farah Griffin, Jamal Simmons, and former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
Congressman Dent, I mean, you know the House well, you served with Kevin McCarthy, what did you make of this mishegoss?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, my reaction has been that, you know, surrendering your way to victory is really not winning, which is what happened when he got the speaker's gavel. He gave in to these guys on the motion to vacate, just one person could do that.
COOPER: He dug his own grave.
DENT: He dug his grave. He put three of them on the Rules Committee, two on the Appropriations Committee. You know, he just opened up an impeachment inquiry.
COOPER: Did he have any other choice, though, at the time?
DENT: Well --
COOPER: If he wanted power?
DENT: Yes. I mean, I've said all along, well, maybe you have to go and talk to some Democrats to help you elect a speaker and maybe start doing some power sharing arrangements. I mean, I know some people think that's crazy, but given where we are now --
COOPER: Scott Jennings over there, everyone does.
DENT: They do it, they did it in Texas, they did it in some other states. They had to do this. Because if you have a group of rejectionists, like they do, who don't have an affirmative sense of governance, as Kevin said himself, they want to blow the place up.
You're going to have -- he needs 218 votes. He just doesn't have it. So he's got to get them from the Democrats. Whether it's on the debt ceiling, whether it's on the continuing resolution, disaster assistance.
COOPER: So Scott, what's wrong with that hypothesis?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I agree with you when you have a group of people who don't exist within your party as a functional matter, you've got real problems. I mean, the reality is Democrats understand that politics is a team sport and Republicans just don't right now.
And you've got essentially coalition government in the House right now. You've got 210 Republicans, 213 Democrats. You know, a handful of may caucus with whoever and Nancy Mace is on a different. She's on earth too. So I don't know what -- I don't know where she fits in.
And so, your idea is interesting because it's exactly what Matt Gaetz did today. He joined with the Democrats in his faction to kick out the speaker. So as long as you have that group roving around under the current rules, whoever gets this, Scalise, Emmer, whoever, you cannot take this job with the current rules, because you'll be right back in the soup that Kevin McCarthy was in today if you don't acquiesce to every demand.
And let me say one more thing. The demand is going to be, I bet, nothing for Ukraine. And so where I think the Democrats messed up today is that the next Republican speaker will have to make that promise, nothing for Ukraine.
COOPER: In order to get the speakership.
JENNINGS: In order to get that seven -- in order to get those Republican votes. And if you make that promise, if I were Zelenskyy tonight, I would be fearful of where this leads because you have strengthened that position.
COOPER: Congressman Kinzinger, I mean, you've been a vocal critic of Kevin McCarthy, your former colleague. Do you think that's true, that any future, to get the next speakership, they're going to have to say no Ukraine aid?
ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, maybe so.
COOPER: At least not part of this --
KINZINGER: But here's the deal -- here's the deal. They've got to start playing the game that Matt Gaetz played. I mean, everybody chuckled when Charlie talked about a coalition speakership. It's not funny. It actually could work. It's actually the one way we can actually fix this institution.
You know, for Matt Gaetz to get eight people and to destroy the institution, to think that there could be eight people now in the GOP that support Ukraine, for instance, to say we are absolutely not going to vote for, come hell or high water, anybody that promises no money for Ukraine, that's how you actually fight back.
The problem is you end up seeing all these people, though, that instead -- I mean, Charlie and I know these folks, we were these folks, we want to get along, as a Republican Party. We want peace, we want things to work. They're going to have to start playing hardball.
Because I agree that the Ukraine thing could be the deal. That would be devastating, not for Ukraine, for America's reputation around the world, for Taiwan, and for China being involved.
COOPER: But will Republicans --
KINZINGER: We need 8 to 10 people to do that.
COOPER: But will Republican Congress, members of Congress, be willing to risk being attacked by, you know, folks in their districts for aligning themselves with Democrats to get things done?
KINZINGER: Well, I don't know because I saw a lot of people that were unwilling to vote to impeach an obvious corrupt president of the United States, but they need to. And I don't think people are going to lose their job because they're fighting for aid for Ukraine. I mean, keep in mind we can still generally support aid for Ukraine.
You've got to quit letting the legislative terrorists run the caucus. And until you play their game, they're going to continue to be legislative terrorists, and they're going to continue to win.
COOPER: Sorry, Alyssa?
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Listen, 18 Republicans won in districts that Joe Biden carried. So if you're someone like a Don Bacon, a Brian Fitzpatrick, a Mike Lawler in New York, it's worth considering.
I find it extremely hard to see sort of -- in your era, I think the 2015 period, there could have been sort of a coalition type government with Democrats, but the incentive structures on the right are so loud, they're so harsh, and you will be so destroyed if you choose to side with Democrats on any major issue.
I -- like the right-wing media echo chamber's always been there, but it's not as powerful, it wasn't as powerful in the pre-Trump era as it is now. So I think even though you may be in a swing district and it may be in your interest to try to be a pro-governing candidate, you will have so much money spent against you. You will have your name dragged through the mud, and it's kind of a death sentence to staying a Republican.
COOPER: Jamal, was it the wise move for Democrats in the House not to help out McCarthy?
JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was certainly the wise move because --
GRIFFIN: You're gloating over that.
SIMMONS: No, there's no gloating. But listen, when your opponents are in the middle of --
COOPER: You're so a little bit of gloating some -- among some.
SIMMONS: There's a little bit. But when your opponent are in the business of tying ropes around themselves and throwing themselves off of, you know, buildings --
COOPER: Stand out of the way.
SIMMONS: -- why get in the way? Let it happen. You know, I was sitting there watching former Speaker McCarthy's press conference and I just kept thinking about Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame speech, like, from a few years ago. He just went after everybody throughout his entire life, whoever did him wrong. And it seemed like McCarthy was circling around to the same thing. I can remember a few years ago when I lost a job I really wanted to get in Washington. And a friend of mine said to me, you can spend all your time in this town pursuing important jobs or you can try to do important things. And I think the Speaker of the House, the former Speaker McCarthy spent all of his time pursuing this job, and he didn't really do anything important when he got the job.
And that's the thing I hope he -- I don't know if he's wrestling with this, is did he actually take advantage of the historic opportunity that he had, and I just don't see that he did, that he actually got anything done.
JENNINGS: Can I rebut that? Because I think the judgment of whether he was doing a good job is in a lot of the polling that has come out about Republicans in Congress since he's became speaker. Our own poll, CNN in August, who do you trust to deal with the major issues facing the country? Republicans in Congress, 54 percent. Joe Biden, 45 percent.
So I'll tell you who thinks he was doing a good job. The people that we surveyed just back in August. I think the Republicans are throwing out probably the most popular Republican leader in the Capitol. And that's what's crazy. The last thing he did -- you said he didn't do anything important -- the last thing he did was keep the government open in a bipartisan fashion.
I would submit that the troops probably thought that was important because now they'll keep getting paid. So he did the responsible thing and now he's out on his ass over it. Do you think that's not important?
SIMMONS: Of course that's a good thing, but that was a bipartisan thing. If I'm a conservative, I'm sitting here looking at this and wondering, you know, contract with America, you can say what you want to say about it, but it tried to go after big important policy initiatives, right?
I'm not sure the Republican Party today is really pursuing any of those big important policy initiatives. It's a lot about fear of the other, it's a lot about retrenchment from global leadership, and then fealty to Donald Trump. Other than that, I don't know what the Republican Party stands for.
JENNINGS: Cut taxes, cut spending, secure the border, that's it. That's it.
SIMMONS: Oh, that's going to help women who are trying to feed their kids do well. That's going to help the kids who are coming back from COVID.
JENNINGS: Oh, you get a new president.
SIMMONS: The kids who are coming back from COVID who have learning loss is going to help them recover from that.
DENT: But you need functionality in the House. GRIFFIN: Right.
DENT: You need functionality in the House. This has been going on for years, since the Tea Party wave. When you have a very small group, this small tail that wants to wag the larger dogs, we were just talking about Ukraine funding, well, there's a strong bipartisan majority in both chambers for Ukraine funding.
How can this small group dictate the policy? We have votes for a reason. You put it to a vote, Ukraine's going to get funded. But how can this group dictate to the Republican majority that frankly wants to fund Ukraine? Why would they be given away?
COOPER: Let me just bring in Congressman Kinzinger, what happens now? Who can do this? I mean, who -- what about Jim Jordan?
KINZINGER: Well, please God no, but, you know, who knows, but maybe if it forced him to wear a suit jacket, maybe. Look, I actually think the dark horse in this is Patrick McHenry. I've always been saying that I think he's the kind of guy that, you know, the right likes him, the so-called moderates, if they're left, like him. And he's actually very honorable.
He'll tell you the truth. You don't have to worry about him telling you something. He's going to turn his back on. He reminds me actually a little bit of Boehner in that. So I think he's a real possibility. Of course, Emmer's out there. Of course, Scalise should be in the catbird seat. I just don't know if he has, given everything he's battling right now, you know, the ability to run for this or the desire.
GRIFFIN: Well, I was going to say, you know, listen, I actually agree with Scott that I think there's a number of things McCarthy can point to as sort of his victories in his short time in office. But reality is this. History is not going to remember him for those things.
They're going to remember him as one of the shortest speakers, someone who normalized crazy, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, and brought into the fold. Someone who handed over security tapes from January 6th to a cable news host to spread lies. Somebody who ousted, before speaker, but as leader, Liz Cheney from her leadership post.