Conservatives push to ‘Fire McCarthy’ before he takes speaker’s gavel

By Cheryl Chumley


It’s only been days since Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., became the most talked-about replacement, but a former lawmaker on Capitol Hill, the recently defeated Rep. Paul Broun, has already launched a campaign against him, saying he’s far too “establishment.”

To underscore that point, Broun’s started a “” webpage that states, bluntly enough: “Fire Kevin McCarthy. No Boehner 2.0 … We Oppose Kevin McCarthy for Speaker!” The page asks visitors to sign the petition.

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As Broun said in a press release distributed by Political Media: “Having worked with Kevin McCarthy in the House, I’ll admit he’s a friendly guy. But we need a dramatic change in House leadership. We can’t afford to replace Speaker Boehner with someone who will continue to carry out his failed legacy, one that has been stifling conservative progress for six years.”

McCarthy was called to answer questions about just that – about his record of conservatism – on Fox News during an interview with Sean Hannity.

“The question you really want to ask me,” he said then, “is how am I going to be different? What am I going to do differently?”

McCarthy then tried to answer his own question – but largely failed. As Russell Berman of the Atlanticopined: “What would change under a Speaker McCarthy? Would he cater more to the conservatives who forced Boehner out, or would he sideline them in favor of more compromise with Democrats? McCarthy’s problem is that he didn’t really have an answer to his own question. After stumbling into a classic Kinsley gaffe about Hillary Clinton and the House Benghazi Committee, he talked about how under his leadership, Republicans would go to battle against Democrats with a ‘strategy’ and would ‘fight to win.'”

As Berman also noted: “McCarthy didn’t lay out exactly how he would succeed where Boehner failed.”

It’s just such unknowns that have Broun worried.

“McCarthy and Boehner are cut from the same establishment cloth and if the former replaces the latter, I’m pledging to help my fellow Americans mobilize to make sure he’s fired,” Broun said.

The petition outlines some of McCarthy’s perceived egregious political offenses, including a score of 52 from Freedom Works; a score of 45 from Conservative Review; and an “abysmal” score of 42 from Madison Project.

“He scores worse than former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his own district,” the petition states. “If McCarthy is chosen, we’ll see that he’s fired. Add your name to the list of Americans who Demand a Conservative Speaker.”

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Larry Ward, chairman of Constitutional Rights PAC, said McCarthy wouldn’t enact any substantial reforms that favored the true conservative crowd.

“He’s a go-along-to-get-along politician that isn’t concerned much with principle,” Ward said, in the release. “The American people deserve better than a nice guy.”

Broun, a tea-party favorite from Georgia, lost his last re-election bid and vacated Congress in January.

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