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CNN Live Event/Special
Now: McCarthy Appears To Suffer Defeat On Second Speaker Ballot. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired January 03, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Morally Kevin.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Congressman Jones, you kind of agree with Alyssa that this is a kind of a - there's a strategy here at work.
MONDAIRE JONES, (D) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I think there's a strategy here. I think the idea that Jim Jordan and others who are ideologically aligned with him did not know how this would pan out defies common sense. And it's not clear to me who the alternative will be.
I think Scalise is probably the best bet, because I think so much of this is personal. But the irony is that Kevin McCarthy has done everything that these people have asked of him over the past two years, to the point of really diminishing himself in the eyes of not only his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, especially moderates on the Republican side and Democrats, of course. But also I think, in the eyes of the public, and he's still not going to get the speakership.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it was actually Gaetz - the core of Gaetz's speech was that McCarthy had what - what did he say?
COOPER: Selling shares of himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Selling shares of himself. I mean --
COOPER: And for - one of the people I assume he tried to sell shares himself to --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COOPER: -- was Matt Gaetz.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was Gaetz.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, this group owns many of those shares.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mm-hm. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And yet they are, I think, what is --
COOPER: Dismissing the people who buy shares or willingly take shares of Kevin McCarthy that he's giving up also then attack him for that very act?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But it does speak to this sense of not fearing McCarthy, sense of lack of respect for McCarthy as a leader and I just don't see how he comes back from this, I really don't.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: And I think one of the things he's done is really approached this with the air of inevitability, right? He goes to them in the 11th hour before this vote and says, I've earned it, almost saying it's owed to him and that's not something they've taken too kindly to.
And I think one of the things to watch is these moderates, right? This sort of only Kevin-ish, right? At some point do they say this is dragging the party through the muck and the mile - mire, through rounds and rounds of voting into they start to peel away slowly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of them --
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Into Axel - oh, I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- I think some of them will, but I get the sense that so much of this is choreographed. For example, Scott Perry, who put out that strong statement last night and then today, he and Jim Jordan have always been really very close. And the fact that Jordan is with McCarthy, but so many of Jordan's allies are not with McCarthy. I mean, this doesn't seem kosher from what I see. There's Something going on here.
HENDERSON: But they seem to have a better choreography than the McCarthys.
GRIFFIN: That's the stunning part. That's the stunning part. But to Axelrod's point, I mean, the midterm showed us that voters were rejecting extremism, election denialism. I think January 6 was a factor, yet everyone seems to get that in the country except for House Republican Congress.
The fact that Kevin McCarthy, who slimly even won the majority thought he was the heir apparent and wouldn't have a challenge is this huge strategic miscalculation. But he made the mistake rather than catering to his moderates to his majority makers and trying to build a coalition there, he's made extraction after extraction and concession to the far right, were never going to be with him.
I mean, he could have - he should have called John Boehner and Paul Ryan, if you wanted to know how this was going to go for.
JONES: And if you are a member of the Freedom Caucus, this is a brilliant strategy from the limited perspective of wanting to flex your power. So they humiliate Kevin McCarthy and a historic way and then what? If Steve Scalise becomes the speaker, but he knows how serious these guys are that if he makes one wrong move, not only - he will very quickly be replaced?
COOPER: I want to go to Melanie Zanona who is - Zonona who's standing by on the Hill. Melanie, what are you hearing?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes. So Anderson, as this vote has been dragging on, the anger and frustration inside the GOP is really growing. I talked to one GOP lawmaker who is supporting McCarthy and they said they're already hearing from GOP donors and from constituents back home that the party looks "stupid" for not being able to elect a speaker.
And I talked to another Republican who said he's also pro-McCarthy and he predicted that after three or four ballots, there's going to be pressure for Republicans to either adjourn the proceedings and try to regroup or to try to just figure out some sort of plan B strategy on the floor.
So even though a lot of Republicans were bracing for this to go to multiple ballots, they are still in disbelief and they are just furious that all this drama is overshadowing their new majority. I talked to a third Republican who said they are embarrassing the whole team. We should form a parking lot committee and put them on it.
So clearly, the anger is palpable and I do expect there to be retribution for McCarthy's opponents whenever they finally settle all this.
COOPER: All right. Melanie Zanona, thanks so much.
How does - do people leave it up to Kevin McCarthy to decide, okay, enough is enough. I'm going to take my hat out or do people - do somebody go to him and how's that work?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sooner or later, there's going to have to be a conversation about what's good for the institution and what's good for the country.
And so, again, we have this standoff where McCarthy's backers are fighting these 19 and at some point somebody's going to have to blink, but they have to think about the institution of the Congress, the House itself. It's because it looks - this looks terrible.
I mean, the American public - you've already heard donors are calling saying what's going on, you can't - there's no organization, obviously. So at some point, I think some of the adults in the Republican conference are going to have to say we got to end this.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's not the 19.
DENT: No, no.
AXELROD: That's the other group.
DENT: No, that's not what I'm saying, the other group not the 19.
AXELROD: They're going to have to go to him and they're going to have to - I mean, it's really very simple. You can't win.
DENT: That's right.
AXELROD: It's over, we're not going to vote for you another round, because we can't. We're going to Scalise.
DENT: Yes, or wherever they're going to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or whoever.
DENT: Whoever get to 19.
AXELROD: Right. Right.
JONES: So to Charlie's point, institution, country, both of those things should be paramount. But what as you know, Charlie, don't put it past a member of Congress to put first and foremost their own reelection, right? And if you're in one of these swing districts, in the Hudson Valley in New York or out on Long Island, you are not going to want to send a message for too long to the American people and to the people who elected you in particular, that you can't even elect a leader of your caucus, let alone fulfill the promises that you ran on.
GRIFFIN: Well, and the longer that Kevin McCarthy stays in, the more it weakens the future speaker, because it's only going to require more concessions to flip these votes. So what, does the motion to vacate get down to two votes? I think that's what Gaetz at one point was asking for.
So what it effectively will do is whoever ultimately becomes speaker will be facing votes with no confidence left and right. For the sake of the institution, you would hope that as moderates are going to him and saying, we need to get together on who the consensus candidate is, the obvious choice would be is Steve Scalise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alyssa, isn't that at this point clear that for the 19 to come along are enough of them, that they're going to have to embrace now the conditions that McCarthy negotiated. He's basically negotiated the terms of surrender and it's just a question of whether they're going to surrender or - he surrenders or someone else.
GRIFFIN: That's right. I worry that if McCarthy stays in longer, he's going to negotiate an even worse rules package for the future speaker. That's the only way he's flipping votes at this point.
COOPER: Yes. And Jake, 19 votes, therefore, for Jim Jordan so far. Now let's go back to you.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, Anderson, it's fair to say that we are on track for a very similar vote in the second ballot that we had in the first ballot, 212 for the Democratic Leader, Hakeem Jeffries, 203 for the Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy, and a total of 19, anti-McCarthy Republican votes.
In this case, Dana Bash, they are all coalescing around one candidate instead of four or five as they did on the first ballot. But it - they haven't seemed to move the needle one way or the other, 19 anti- McCarthy, enough to deny him the speakership, but they are not gaining the momentum they need nor, by the way, is Kevin McCarthy.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, there - this is a message sending vote right now. Vote, I should say, by the 19, so far for Jim Jordan, and also for the 173 (inaudible) now 74 by - for Kevin McCarthy.
Because I think that we understandably have been talking so much about the dozen plus members who are causing this chaos by saying we're not going to vote for McCarthy. But we're not focusing also on the very large number for McCarthy. And it's not because McCarthy has so many people who adore him in his conference party, it's because those people for the most part, but there are people who really liked him and wanted to be speaker.
But this is largely about trying to show the 19 we're not backing down to you.
BASH: We're not giving in to you. We're going to keep voting for Kevin McCarthy. That is very much a dynamic happening on the House floor right now.
TAPPER: So let me bring in a former Republican Congressman Rodney Davis. We are all here on this set, Congressman, texting our contacts, Republican. And I know you have even more contacts than we do, having been a former member of the House Republican Caucus.
I am being told when I asked Republican members of Congress, so what's going to happen now, I have no idea that is the response. What do you hear?
RODNEY DAVIS, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I've heard that but I've also heard that this is going to be a long night. That Kevin McCarthy and more importantly the 85 percent of the Republican conference, who voted for him to be Speaker are digging in. They do not want to give these 19 numbers a win because they will have no leverage going into a brand new majority. There's really nothing more Kevin can give me. I mean, Kevin's given on the rules package more than what any of the 85 percent wanted him to give.
So now it's time to see if those 85 percent are going to stand strong. There is absolutely no discussion right now in those ranks of a new candidate. So this is going to be a long night. And I think pressure is going to begin to build on Democrats who may decide to leave the chamber if these votes continue to go, which then lessens Kevin McCarthy's threshold.
TAPPER: Very interesting. And Jamie Gangel?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm just shaking my head for this reason. They - the Kevin McCarthy allies may want to say that the 19 we're going to just keep voting and voting and voting. But if these 19 or even five of the 19 don't change their vote and we think that there are five valid never Kevins then it doesn't matter what the Kevin McCarthy allies want and the Republican Party is looking dysfunctional, and the business of government is not moving forward.
TAPPER: So I just got just got one interesting text from a Republican member of Congress who shall remain nameless. I said, "So what happens now?" And he wrote, "We all have family up here for the swearing in. Let's just say many of us told our families to dress in their second best outfits today."
So in other words, they were expecting this to not happen today.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just - again, we're all texting everybody trying to figure out a plan or what's the end result and nobody knows. I just got one (inaudible) very plugged in, it won't be Scalise, the hell no caucus equals 25 at most, McCarthy will keep them voting all night in my view. The question is to what end. Again, to what end.
It's 19 right now, which is what it was last time, we have a few more names to go through. So essentially a status quo vote. The anti- McCarthy votes have shifted to Jordan. They're not split among several candidates, but we are in a status quo vote. In which, again, you look at that and you say, okay, Hakeem Jeffries and Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy is obviously the strongest Republican, but as Jamie noted, it only takes five of those 19 to keep this going for days and days and days. The question is can Republicans get in a room and figure out a plan Z. We're passed plan A and B.
And the answer right now is no.
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, and getting in a room, I mean, that is a hard thing to do, actually, at this point. Because right now as long as this is going on the House floor, you need 218 people to vacate the House floor and adjourn the House and allow them to go into a backroom and cut a deal.
So to certain extent, I mean, we're going to have to see some of this actually play out in public if they're going to get that far.
KING: And first impressions matter. This is the first impressions of the Republican House. This is the first day - the second half of Joe Biden's term. This is the first day of the 2024 cycle and this is the message - not this is what we want to do for inflation, the border immigration, this is our message about America's role in the world. This is how we're different or better than Biden than the Democrats. That's what the Republicans wanted to do today. Instead, they're doing this.
TAPPER: And let us underline again, Dana Bash, how historic this is. This has not happened since 1923 when the then-House Speaker Republican, Frederick Gillett, was ultimately re-elected speaker on the ninth ballot. Kevin McCarthy earlier today said he has given the longest speech in the history of the House of Representatives and if he's going to win the speakership, with the highest number of ballot votes, then so be it.
BASH: That's right. And so, look, the question is at one point this has become the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. We're only on this - we're on the second ballot? Second ballot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The second ballot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all right lost track.
BASH: And there's no sense that things will change. Things will only change when the people who are voting and those who feel like they have skin in the game, feel that they have made their point and nobody seems that they're there right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at --
TAPPER: Well, they've made their point - hold on one second.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The reading clerk will now call the names of the representatives elect who did not answer the first call of the roll.
TAPPER: So they're catching up the people who didn't vote in this second ballot.
I want to talk to Manu Raju, who just spoke with one of the 19 rebels, Congressman Chip Roy, Republican of Texas, who voted for a colleague of his from Florida on the first vote and voted for Jim Jordan on the second. Manu, what did Congressman Chip Roy have to say?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He is really not moving off his opposition really aligning himself with a number of conservative members as hardliners who want a number of demands to strengthen the rank and file, weaken the speakership, things that Kevin McCarthy says he already has agreed to.
But Roy making very clear to me that he is almost certainly not going to be in the McCarthy camp.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): (Inaudible) or other parts (inaudible) guarantee they'll actually enforce the rules we just talked about. By the way, everybody (inaudible) said, oh, we like the rules, good job. Chip, and you guys worked hard for the rules. And then at the end, they said, but if you don't vote for McCarthy, we're going to get rid of the rules.
It's a game. That's the game and they actually put a quote on the board that said something in the zip code of, hey, for the part of trying to put people on the committee with diverse views, and Kevin said that, he said, but a whole lot of people in the room didn't want that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So what he's referring to is the morning meeting that occurred today in which Kevin McCarthy tried to urge, tried to essentially arm twist these members into supporting him. That clearly backfired with people like Chip Roy saying that essentially what they're suggesting that threats and the like did not win them over, in fact, grew the opposition, had the opposite effect that McCarthy and his allies had wanted. But McCarthy's allies are indicating, Jake, that they are not moving either.
I just talked to Congress with Mike Lawler who's - he's the incoming congressman, who told me that if it goes to 50 ballots, he plans to stick with Kevin McCarthy for 50 ballots. He said of those conservative foes, what is their endgame, we'll keep voting and voting and voting and guess what needed, we - they don't have enough votes and we outweigh them. So that's the question here, Jake, who will blink first.
Right now, McCarthy allies are saying they won't do it and neither were the conservatives and will there be some sort of consensus. At the moment, no consensus candidate, Kevin McCarthy 19 votes against him right now. He needs to only keep that to four votes, unclear when if that will happen.
TAPPER: So we just heard Manu talking to Congressman Chip Roy, one of the 19 rebels who seem to suggest he's not blinking. I just got a text, Abby Phillip, from one of the 203 voting for Kevin McCarthy, who said McCarthy will get the vote, we're not blinking either.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, to be fair, the hallmark of this group of 19 and the folks who are kind of leading this charge is that it's all about throwing a wrench in the in the machine, but not actually solving any problems, who is the alternative?
No one has really emerged who will actually have a shot of getting to 218. And I think that that - it is fair to kind of put the onus on the never McCarthys and say, okay, so who?
PHILLIP: So who's the person who's going to get there otherwise, they're going to be voting all night and maybe tomorrow and until next year, until someone else emerges if it's not going to be Kevin.
HUNT: Well, and so here's the challenge, if you're a part of the what I would refer to as the governing wing, not necessarily moderate, but people who actually want to get stuff done. Right now, Jim Jordan is sitting in that wing. The challenge has always been that those people actually do want to see things happen. They want to bring deliverables home to their district, that's what their voters are demanding. If you're a Republican in a Biden district, that's what they're saying, that's what they need to get reelected.
Those people ultimately are going to have more of an incentive to end this. I mean, I almost swore right there - to end this show, you fill in the blank, that's happening right now on the House floor, because they have political incentives that line up with ending it and finding a speaker of the House. These 19 people and this has been the problem with dealing with the Freedom Caucus, from John Boehner to Paul Ryan right on down to where we are today, is that they do not seem to care about that piece of it.
They don't care about governing. Their self interest - you've heard the word narcissist being used by many of their opponents in the Republican Party today. They care about, as John has said, appearing on right wing radio, what is their profile, the leverage and the ways that leadership used to have to get control of people like these 19 are basically gone.
And that means that for them, sitting here and doing this 50 times, who cares? There's - they don't have any skin in that game, necessarily. Whereas all these people who are sitting with Kevin McCarthy, they actually do and they may get to a point where they have to say, look, we got to make a change here.
BASH: But can I just say one thing? This McCarthy ally just sent this to me. This is a quote from Congressman Guy Reschenthaler who's - would be an incoming Chief Deputy Whip. "If they think this is going to be a game of chicken to see who's going to blink first, they're going to be sadly surprised. We'll be here until fourth of July voting for McCarthy."
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the thing. They feel like if they back down, they're giving in --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.
COLLINS: -- to these 19. But really, the five and the nine who've been going back and forth all week, that's what Mike Lawler said earlier. He said, we'll take one vote or a hundred votes. He said, we're going to keep going to we'll elect a speaker. I'm fully committed to that. He said Kevin McCarthy is not backing down from this.
And we should note that in that tense meeting we were talking about this morning, Mike Rogers from Alabama said they would remove these people from their committees that are voting against Kevin McCarthy, that that's the step --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think they care. (Inaudible) --
COLLINS: They don't care, but it is important because part of the negotiations that they've been talking about with the concessions has been what the committee makeup looks like and how many members of the House Freedom Caucus are on certain committees.
PHILLIP: Well, I mean McCarthy said he would give them more or less what they wanted. And they don't want that.
COLLINS: (Inaudible), right.
PHILLIP: I mean, some of those members have said on the record, it doesn't matter what Kevin McCarthy offers us, we are not going to take it. And I think to Kasie's point, the underlying problem here is that there's a huge portion of the Republican base that is not interested in any way, shape or form and anything that's happening in Washington.
The whole point is not to rabble rouse, to stick it to the other side, to throw out red meat and as long as that's the incentive structure, it's really hard if you're trying to hand out some carrots when there's nothing that you can offer them that will be good enough.
GANGEL: Look, this is a group who wants to burn it down. Kevin offered them everything and they said, no, they don't want it. I also think we should talk about former congressman, Rodney Davis, talked about the Democrats that they're going to get tired and they're going to step up, nonsense.
TAPPER: Oh, no, they love this.
TAPPER: The half of this people on the floor of the House.
GANGEL: They'll be here all day all night and the only question in my - someone said to me, who's happier right now, Nancy Pelosi or Liz Cheney.
GANGEL: And I think that's --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A great question.
GANGEL: -- it's a great question, But the Democrats are sitting in the best seat and this is not up to them.
GANGEL: It's up to Kevin McCarthy. And I just want to say one more thing, Chip Roy started this process, not as one of the five never Kevins.
TAPPER: No, he was one of the nine Kevin --
GANGEL: He was one of the nine.
TAPPER: -- skeptics.
GANGEL: He was trying to negotiate. He thought this could be done before Christmas. That was a very angry Chip Roy there. I think that his position has hardened in the last 24 hours.
TAPPER: And Anderson, one of the things that's so interesting to me, as we talk about how Republican Leader McCarthy has acquiesced to all of the demands, essentially, that this group has demanded and asked for, and they still don't want him, this reminds me so much of two years ago when House Democrats were trying to put together and it wasn't just House Democrats, the House Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee were putting - trying to put together a proposal for an independent commission, half Democrats, half Republicans to look into what happened on January 6th and what could change.
And Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi demanding three important changes and she acquiesced on all three, and then he walked away anyway, he didn't care. He didn't want it. This is even before it was going to be a committee. This is when it was going to be an independent commission. And when you play that game, sometimes it can come back and you end up losing it.
COOPER: Yes. And that is the game that's being played with him now.
Charlie Dent, what - so what round three - how is it going to be different than around two?
DENT: I don't think round three is different than round two. But I think, again, we're at this point of a standoff, and somebody is going to have to blink. And I don't think those 19 guys are going to blink. I mean, these guys are very ideological, almost fanatical.
COOPER: Is there any motivation for them? I mean, before it was - folks there in D.C. were talking about what committees they get on, it doesn't seem like that's a priority for a lot of them.
DENT: No. I've always felt that this group when I served, they just wanted to sow chaos in the House. I never - I thought there was a nihilistic side to this group. That was always my view, they didn't really want anything, they just - nothing was ever (inaudible) --
COOPER: Compromise or actually governing is dangerous --
DENT: Oh, that's --
COOPER: -- whereas making slogans and just throwing (inaudible) --
DENT: Compromise means capitulation and surrender to them, you have to understand that. That's surrender. I was always part of the surrender caucus, let's just say. I mean, I was the leader of surrender caucus. I mean, that's how they viewed people like me who were actually trying to make agreements so that we could advance governance.
GRIFFIN: But the problem with that strategy is for retaliation to work you actually have to have the votes there. So previous speakers have, if somebody voted against them on the floor, they have John Boehner famously took Mark Meadows off of the subcommittee chairmanship on Oversight, ultimately had to put him back but that was retaliation for not supporting him for speaker. You can do that when you have the margins. Kevin McCarthy doesn't have the margins. He has no levers to play there in terms of punishing dissenters. So the only play left is concessions and I don't see what is there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
JONES: Another example of that is famously Speaker Pelosi not putting Kathleen Rice on the Judiciary Committee, because she didn't vote for her and made a whole big deal about her not voting for her. But, yes, when you don't have the speakership guaranteed to you, the threats are empty to take someone off their committee and now again, with this motion to vacate, you can't really impose consequences on anyone so long as five people who feel aggrieved can come together and make your life a living hell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will point out that Pelosi had a similar margin a couple of years ago, had to assemble her votes. It wasn't a given that she would get them. She got them (inaudible) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But she remembers the speaker vote from two years ago because it was uneventful. Well, it was easier for her to get them. She went and the congressman can speak to it. He may have been one of the people she spoke with. But she got them by one by one going to members, talking to them about what they needed, what commitments they needed from her and so on.
But it's easier when you don't have a nihilistic group that really doesn't care about the institution, that doesn't really care about governing, that's the position McCarthy finds himself in.
But to Jake's point, yes, McCarthy was the one who agreed and then he decided not to follow through on the January 6th commission, why? Because this group and Donald Trump did not want him to do it. So he basically has played by their rules right up to this morning, when he suddenly became steely about his resolve and he's paying a big price for it.
HENDERSON: Yes, because they never thought he was a true believer, because he was playing both sides. They - they've seen him as a figure of the establishment all this time no matter what he did. I don't think it's helped that people in the establishment, people like Ronna McDaniel gone on Fox News and denounced this caucus, the five people that are now 19 as we see, that hasn't really helped.
Newt Gingrich went on Fox News and called them, I think, said that they had psychological problems. I think McCarthy thought that was a good strategy. It only made these folks digging even harder and harder over these last days. This caucus seems to have grown and gotten stronger.
COOPER: Yes. Melanie Zanona is on Capitol Hill. Melanie, what's going on right now?
ZANONA: Well, a source familiar tells me that Kevin McCarthy is going to take this to a third ballot. This is part of the strategy as we alluded earlier that McCarthy was planning to pursue of not dropping out even in the face of opposition, and he is hoping to grind his opponents down.
Now, his opponents are also saying that they're not backing down without a fight. Chip Roy, one of the people who voted against him told Manu Raju and some other reporters earlier that he's not blinking. And so this is really shaping up to be a game of chicken and it is a matter of who is going to blink first.
So in this third ballot, when that goes down with the things we are going to be looking for is, A, do any people who - of those 19 who voted against McCarthy, do any of them change their vote, do they start to peel off and start falling in line behind McCarthy or does anyone else vote against McCarthy who previously haven't.
So we're looking for those vote tallies. We're also looking to see who those 19 people are going to vote for in the second ballot. They rallied around Jim Jordan who made clear he is not interested in the job. So it's a question of who they will vote for next. But still a lot of uncertainty about how this is going to go down and how many ballots it's going to take.
COOPER: Yes. I'm going to check in with Manu Raju also on Capitol Hill. Manu, what are you hearing?
RAJU: Yes. I just talked to Bob Good who's the Virginia Republican. He's one of those members as part of that hard line block of conservatives who are dead set against denying Kevin McCarthy the votes. He told me they plan on a third bout to vote for Jim Jordan again, even though Jim Jordan, we heard say vote for Kevin McCarthy, don't vote for me, vote for Kevin McCarthy.
Instead, they - they're essentially ignoring it. In fact, that's what Bob Good said to me. He said that is exactly why they want Jim Jordan. He called him the most popular Republican that's out there. He said that McCarthy would - is in a "desperate effort to cling to power."
He said that they are planning to continue to vote for Jordan. And he also told me, "I think we're going to see his numbers grow." So beyond the 19, so Republicans who voted for Jim Jordan, how many will vote for Jim Jordan on the third ballot, that's going to be the big test. Do any peel off to vote for McCarthy, do any Republicans decide to vote for Jim Jordan on the third ballot, that's going to be their push going forward.
So once again, we're in this staring contest with Republicans banking on somehow Jim Jordan getting his way to the speakership. For Republicans saying they - who's allied with Kevin McCarthy is saying they are not backing away from him so long as McCarthy stays in the race and McCarthy, for now, staying in the race.
COOPER: Manu, why - I mean, how likely is it that Jim Jordan's votes could actually grow? I mean, why would anybody who had been for McCarthy suddenly go for Jordan? RAJU: Yes, that's really unclear here, Anderson. I mean, there is a very likely possibility. We're just going to see the same outcome over and over again. Once a member of Congress votes the way he or she does vote, it's very hard to see them change that vote unless some dynamic, some development happens and what exactly is that development really uncertain here.
And in talking to a number of the McCarthy allies, they're saying they're not going to vote for someone else. If McCarthy is still in the race, that is the real challenge here and that's why no one can get to 218 votes. Maybe they give over Jim Jordan but not with McCarthy running and McCarthy is banking on the fact that Jim Jordan is supporting him to somehow change the dynamic here.
But the Conservatives are simply not listening to Jordan's push to get them to support McCarthy.