One day after winning the House Majority Leader election, Rep. Kevin McCarthy told a Washington gathering of religious conservatives that he's "proud to be a Christian."
In a brief afternoon appearance at Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference, an upbeat McCarthy, R-Calif., told attendees he thanks "my Lord and Savior for his grace, his strength and for never leaving me."
McCarthy, who is a Baptist, was elected to GOP majority leader Thursday in his fourth term in the House, the fastest ever ascent to the pivotal leadership post.
He steps up from the No. 3 post in the House, majority whip, to replace the outgoing No. 2, Rep. Eric Cantor, who lost his Virginia Republican primary on June 10 to Dave Brat, a college economics professor who was backed by tea party groups.
McCarthy's election has been met with skepticism by some social conservatives who consider the Bakersfield native an "establishment" Republican.
He told attendees he will bring the party together: "We will unite."