Gingrich drew on his past experiences as speaker of the House in an interview with John Catsimatidis on Cats Roundtable on Sunday to predict what McCarthy’s future in the position could be like after a dayslong election in which the California Republican had to make many concessions to secure the speakership. Despite the rough start, however, Gingrich saw the potential for a productive future for McCarthy.
“Narrow margins are not unusual. McCarthy has the same margin that Nancy Pelosi had. But because the Democrats are a machine, she was able to ram through trillions of dollars in spending. Denny Hastert had a 5-vote margin at one point, and he became the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history,” Gingrich explained. “[The holdouts] took advantage. They were prepared to take the heat.”
Gingrich went on to explain that the 20 Republican holdouts against McCarthy’s speakership bid broke into two groups: One group “wanted to get to a more conservative and more open Congress,” while the other group was filled with members that disliked McCarthy. He went on to defend McCarthy on conservative principles, arguing that the new house speaker would be able to push through a conservative agenda.
“Kevin will have greater success in fighting for conservative principles than McConnell will have in the Senate. People will look back and realize that, while it was a tough process of getting there, McCarthy is really a very seasoned, very competent guy. He has very big ideas which you can see if you go to commitmenttoamerica.com which lists some 150 major proposals developed … by the whole Republican conference … They have a momentum here that, once they get the engine back on track, the train is going to be pretty impressive,” he said.
McCarthy won the speakership on a 15th vote late on Friday, after failing to obtain a required majority 14 consecutive times.