OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is urging her colleagues in the House to trust and have faith in newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a move that surprised some of her colleagues.
During an interview on Fox News’ “MediaBuzz,” Greene spoke with host Howard Kurtz about the drama last week surrounding 20 House Republicans refusing to vote for McCarthy to become the speaker until he made a slew of concessions. After McCarthy secured the nomination on Friday night, Greene called on Republicans to get to work after the nomination fight.
Her comments on Fox News are striking given her support of McCarthy drew ire from Republicans and even set up a few major fights from those who held out for several days.
Below is a transcript of the conversation:
TAYLOR GREENE: “There’s no reason to prolong this. Let’s get on with it.”
KURTZ: “Okay. Now, you told — a few months ago, you told ‘New York Times Magazine’ writer Robert Draper for his book about McCarthy, you said, ‘I think that to be the best Speaker…’ — we can put this up here — ‘…of the House and to please the base, he’s going to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway. If he doesn’t, they’re going to be very unhappy about it. That’s not in any way a threat, that’s reality.’ So could it be said — and this has gone on in the history of our republic — that you’d already cut your deal, that if McCarthy became Speaker, you wouldn’t be treated as some fringe character, but you would have influence?”
TAYLOR GREENE: “That’s not at all true. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any committee assignments yet. I’ve only submitted the same form that every other member gets to submit, asking for committees, and I don’t have a promise. I’ve already heard some people saying what they’re getting because that was, honestly, what a lot of the negotiations in the end were all about. I have no promise. I have no deal. I only fully supported — I’ve said this all along — the agenda that’s laid out there, it’s even on Kevin McCarthy’s website, what we can accomplish in the Republican conference, and the reason why I told that to Robert Draper is because I have the support of base, and I keep telling everyone here in Washington this is what the American people want. And it was easy for me to get onboard with this agenda because I see the conference come around the same things and —“
KURTZ: “Yeah. But just to deal with one bit of history, the Democrats stripped you of your committee assignments. I think that was raw politics. But in fairness, didn’t you also say around that period that you’d been a follower of QAnon conspiracy theories, then you had rethought this and you were no longer influenced by the group?”
TAYLOR GREENE: “Well, like a lot of people today, I had easily gotten sucked into some of the things I’d seen on the internet, but that was dealt with quickly early on. I never campaigned on those things. That was not something I believed in, that’s not what I ran for Congress on, so those are so far in the past.”
KURTZ: “All right. You tweeted, I guess in late December, ‘Being conservative and anti-establishment, I used to criticize Kevin McCarthy a lot.’ So, if that’s true, why did you end up on his side when some of your fellow conservatives in the Freedom Caucus — you know, Gaetz was saying, ‘He will not win next week, next month, next year.’”
TAYLOR GREENE: “Thank you, that’s a great question. Yeah, he did say that. And sure enough, Kevin is our Speaker. Well, here’s what happened. I came into Congress and, you know, Kevin and I, we had some public confrontations — not necessarily confrontations, but said things about one another. But I did something that I wish more members of Congress would do. I started talking with Kevin McCarthy. I went and met with him and got to know him better and got to understand where he sees the conference going, what he sees our agenda and what we should do, and that’s why I came around a lot sooner than 20 of my Freedom Caucus colleagues. But, listen, here’s the great news, I’m glad they came around this past week. So what you saw them do, learn to trust him and have faith in the plan going forward, I was able to do that over the past year. But I hope more of my colleagues do that.”