In an extraordinary interview on Sean Hannity's Fox News show Tuesday, Kevin McCarthy gave the man he hopes to replace as speaker a B- grade — and touted the Benghazi Committee's dinging Hillary Clinton's poll numbers as an example of the kind of leadership he'll provide.
Hannity opened the interview with a poll showing 60 percent of Republican voters feel betrayed by their GOP in Congress, and said he's one of them.
McCarthy is widely expected to be the next speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
"I'm one of them too," said Majority Leader McCarthy of California.
McCarthy touted a new reconciliation bill aimed at dismantling Obamacare, which will only need 51 votes in the Senate to reach President Barack Obama's desk, where it will surely be vetoed.
And he took more than one shot at the Senate GOP.
"The Senate can't change a nuclear option to protect a nuclear-free world?" he asked incredulously, referring to the unwillingness of Senate Republicans to end the filibuster rule in an effort to defeat the Iran nuclear deal. (That, by the way, would also have resulted in vetobait.)
Hannity also challenged McCarthy to grade Boehner, noting that the national debt is up $4.1 trillion since he took the gavel and $209 billion has been spent on Obamacare.
McCarthy touted the declining deficit.
Pressed again to give Boehner a grade, McCarthy gave him a B-.
"Aw, come on," Hannity said.
"He won a majority, we've got a higher margin than we've ever had, we've lowered the deficit," McCarthy said, before pointing to the Senate's inability to move Republican bills, including hundreds of bills already passed by the GOP House.
Hannity also tried to commit McCarthy to defunding Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and executive amnesty. McCarthy said he would, but was not pressed on whether he would do so even if it led to a government shutdown.
"We have to have a strategy to be able to win," McCarthy said.
"What you're going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win.
"And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?
"But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen."
That appears to be a reference to Clinton's private server email woes.
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