Keep Scrolling for continue reading for more stories

Kevin McCarthy’s Retributive Campaign Targets GOP Members Who Ended His Speakership

Kevin McCarthy Screenshot_YouTube

Kevin McCarthy, the former Speaker of the House, is reportedly orchestrating a retribution campaign against the Republicans responsible for his ousting, as detailed in a Politico report. This campaign, led by McCarthy’s close ally Brian O. Walsh, aims to recruit primary challengers to confront members of the so-called “Gaetz Eight” – a reference to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and seven other Republicans who supported the movement to remove McCarthy from his position.

Walsh’s initiative is designed to leverage McCarthy’s significant donor network in support of candidates who could effectively challenge the incumbent Republicans. This strategy underscores McCarthy’s lingering influence in the GOP and his determination to target those he perceives as traitors for aligning with Democrats against him.

One of the key aspects of this campaign is the focus on three members of the Gaetz Eight deemed most vulnerable: Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Bob Good (R-Va.), and Eli Crane (R-Ariz.). While Mace and Good already face strong primary challengers, the search continues for a formidable opponent against Crane.

The campaign represents a continuation of McCarthy’s political maneuvering, even after his dramatic exit from Congress. It reflects ongoing tensions within the GOP between hardline conservatives and establishment figures, and McCarthy’s willingness to wield his influence from behind the scenes.

Walsh, acting with McCarthy’s endorsement, is coordinating efforts to identify and support candidates against the eight defectors. Despite McCarthy’s absence from day-to-day operations, he remains informed about the campaign’s progress, as do key donors.

McCarthy’s desire for retribution was evident even before his retirement from Congress, as seen in his confrontations with Gaetz and other members of the Gaetz Eight. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), a former McCarthy lieutenant, commented on the potential impact of an unrestrained McCarthy, highlighting the possible dangers to those who opposed him.

However, the success of this campaign is uncertain. One of the Gaetz Eight disclosed that potential primary candidates had been approached by a McCarthy associate but remained uninterested in running. The most promising developments are in South Carolina, where Catherine Templeton is expected to challenge Mace, with indications of substantial support from McCarthy’s allies.

Walsh, a political consultant and former president of the McCarthy-aligned American Action Network, is seen as a direct extension of McCarthy. His efforts began after McCarthy’s unexpected departure from the speakership, as donors and consultants sought to challenge the eight Republicans.

In Virginia, McCarthy has shown interest in backing state Sen. John McGuire against Good. Elsewhere, recruitment efforts against Crane and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) continue, with the filing deadline looming on April 8.

Some members of the Gaetz Eight, such as Biggs and Gaetz, are considered challenging to unseat, while others, like Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), have noticed attempts to sway their supporters.

This campaign illustrates the ongoing power struggles within the GOP and the potential for McCarthy to continue influencing the party’s direction, despite his removal from a formal leadership role.