AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Kevin McCarthy Takes Potshot at Nancy Mace: ‘No One Will Stay Working for Her’

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy threw some shade at Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) as she navigates a series of personal and professional struggles. During a visit to Capitol Hill, he referenced her difficulties with her staff and suggested that she might need some professional help.

The former speaker’s comments reflect a lingering resentment against Mace, who was one of eight House Republicans who voted to remove him as speaker last year.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) went after Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) during a Capitol Hill visit on Tuesday, saying she needs to “straighten out her life.”
Mace, one of the eight GOP members who voted to oust McCarthy as Speaker last year, is facing a tough primary challenge from her former chief of staff and reportedly suffers from an office staff in turmoil.
“I hope Nancy gets the help she needs, I really do,” McCarthy told reporters. “I just hope she gets the help to straighten out her life. I mean, she’s got a lot of challenges.”
“No one will stay working for her,” he continued. “You can’t have somebody who just flips and flops based upon what TV station she gets put on. You want someone who’s willing to work, and so I hope she gets that kind of help.”

When asked if he would refrain from involving himself in an effort to unseat her during primary season, he responded: “I didn’t say that.”

Indeed, there are indications that McCarthy plans to support a primary challenge to Mace, whom he once mentored before she turned on him. The former speaker, who resigned from Congress in December, has already encouraged her former chief of staff, Dan Hanlon, to run against her during the primaries.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who vowed to give Hanlon a job during a scorched earth news conference following Mace’s vote to remove McCarthy as speaker of the House, also privately encouraged Hanlon to explore a primary challenge, according to people familiar with the discussions.

“Hanlon has been pleased with how well the idea has been received and how many people are looking for a Mace alternative, both money people in D.C. and movers and shakers in S.C.,” a Republican familiar with Hanlon’s decision-making process told Politico, who first reported the news. A former Mace staffer told The Washington Post that Hanlon was urged by people on Capitol Hill and in South Carolina to pursue a bid against Mace as she became increasingly difficult to work with and unflattering reports about her conduct, office culture and policymaking process leaked to the press.

Mace is not likely to be McCarthy’s only target; there is speculation that he plans to go after each of the Republican lawmakers who voted against him. Given the former speaker’s skill at fundraising, the threat of McCarthy’s supporting primary challengers could pose a real threat to those on the receiving end of his revenge.

Now, according to a report from Politico, McCarthy is reportedly plotting his revenge against the eight Republican lawmakers he believes betrayed him.
The outlet reported:
A top McCarthy ally, Brian O. Walsh, is overseeing an attempt to recruit primary challengers to take on members of the infamous “Gaetz Eight” — the Capitol’s nickname for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and seven Republicans who supported his fire-McCarthy push — according to six people familiar with the plans who were granted anonymity to discuss them.
This will reportedly involve leveraging McCarthy’s extensive “donor network” to target candidates such as Gaetz with strong, well-funded primary challenges.
“These traitors chose to side with Nancy Pelosi, AOC and over 200 Democrats to undermine the institution, their fellow Republicans and a duly elected Speaker,” Walsh was quoted as saying. “There must be consequences for that decision.”

But this development could be more than just personal disputes. It appears to also reflect the ever-widening rift in the Republican Party – especially between the establishment and the populist Trumpian faction. If McCarthy does decide to get more involved in primary races, it could potentially shape the trajectory of at least some of the races.

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