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Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence’s brother praised House minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s long speech, which ran from Thursday evening to the wee hours of Friday morning, Associated Press reported.
McCarthy spoke for more than eight hours and delayed the passage of President Joe Biden’s comprehensive domestic policy bill while denouncing the state of the nation and its democratic political opponents.
Although McCarthy’s speech sparked ridicule in some, others praised the effort. Trump said in a statement released Friday that McCarthy did “a great job” in “setting a record by speaking in the House of Representatives for more than eight hours to properly counter communism”.
“We must never forget what the Democrats did at the highest level of evil,” said a statement from Trump.
The former president also threw a punch at Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, saying that if Kentucky lawmakers had fought “you would now have a different Republican president”.
Greg Pence, a Republican representative from Indiana, also supported McCarthy’s speech.
“I loved it,” said Greg Pence. “This is certainly a historic moment for Kevin.”
Dozens of Republicans in attendance during the speech pushed McCarthy while some Democrats were booed. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, who previously held the record for the longest speech in the House of Commons, said “I didn’t even pay attention”.
More coverage from the Associated Press can be found below.
Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence’s brother praised the long speech by House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, which ran from Thursday evening to the wee hours of Parliament. Above, McCarthy speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives during the extensive Democratic Social and Environmental Bill debate in the U.S. Capitol on November 18, 2021 in Washington, DC, in this picture from House Television.
Home TV via AP
Far from being the “happy conservative” he claimed to be, the California Republican debuted in a new role: angry heir to Donald Trump’s legacy who picked up where the former president left off, his political opponents and their ideas attacks mercilessly with a vehemence rarely seen even in the divided halls of Congress. The speech was a gold mine for fact checkers.
“If I sound angry, it’s me,” he said at the beginning of the speech.
“I’m preparing, just sit down,” he said a few hours later. Elsewhere he said, “I know you don’t like me, but that’s okay.”
The lengthy speech formed a politically painful keystone to an extremely tense week in one of the most divisive and dangerous years in Congress.
Monday began with celebrations, a rare bipartisan success, when Biden signed the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill on it. In the middle of the week, the House of Representatives reprimanded one of its own, MP Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), For posting a graphic video depicting violence against other elected officials. And when Friday began, McCarthy was deep in his tribe winder and went out of business as usual.
Overheated rhetoric is nothing new to politics, but the post-Trump era set the bar for a disturbing new normal, a climate that has allowed fiery speeches to quickly slip into more dangerous terrain – like the ex-president’s rally cry, which sparked the January 6 Capitol Rebellion attempting to overthrow Biden’s election victory.
McCarthy’s speech began, like almost every other, during the closing debate on Biden’s bill. The Democrats sought to complete work on the package of social services and climate change programs, putting aside their own differences in order to realize the president’s domestic political priorities.
Speeches normally last a minute during the debate, but McCarthy took advantage of the party leaders’ privilege to speak for as long as they wanted. As the minutes stretched to hours, it was clear that McCarthy’s speech was becoming something else – a moment.
He ripped off Biden’s package as ruthlessly too much, reprimanded the leadership of the House of Representatives from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and waved from topic to topic – inflation, immigration, the threat of an emerging China, his childhood in California, the Lincoln presidency, the Jim Crow era even the influence of the film “Red Dawn” on his politics – all while he stabs the air, scowls across the corridor, his voice sometimes breaks.
McCarthy urged some Democrats to join the Republicans to oppose Biden’s package and tried to deny the party the votes it needed to pass the passage. There didn’t seem to be any buyers.
Secretary Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, tweeted, “If you take the worst speaker in the world / give him the worst speech in the world / and get him to read it for the longest time in the world / I would love to hear that from Kevin McCarthy tonight. Except, probably better. “
Minnesota Democratic MP Dean Phillips said Friday it was “sad” to see the GOP leader portray such a dire view of America. “Fear, fear, fear, ugliness, hate separation, mean temperament prospects … anything so different from what I see when I go home,” he said.
It’s no secret that next fall, the Democrats face a potentially difficult mid-term election that will jeopardize their slim majority. If Republicans take control, McCarthy is on the verge of becoming a spokesman, a job he previously tried and failed to get, only to retire when it was clear he wouldn’t have the support of his Republican counterparts.
McCarthy’s overnight appearance could be seen as an audition of sorts, an appeal to the Republican colleagues who had refused him the job the last time.
It could also be seen as a performance for a different audience – one. McCarthy said Thursday he received a call from Trump. McCarthy didn’t want to reveal what was said, just that they spoke.
Their relationship was rocky at times, although McCarthy was among the first in Congress, supported Trump’s 2016 campaign and enjoyed special status as “My Kevin” by the former president.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have stayed close to the former president and have mimicked his style. The House Republican campaign committee recently hosted a fundraiser with Trump, and the party has determined that his support will be vital if they hope to regain control of Congress.
Unlike the Senate, which is known for its long filibuster-style speeches, such speeches in the House of Representatives are rare. Pelosi had held a modern record after interfering in 2018 with her own eight-hour speech in support of amendments to the immigration law and reading warm letters from immigrants, some of whom sought refuge from deportation.
McCarthy had spent months preparing, according to a Republican who was familiar with the planning and allowed anonymity to discuss it. Knowing that the Democrats were on the verge of a historic moment, the Republican leader wanted a comparable pivotal moment, the person said.
McCarthy broke the record of Pelosi’s speeches just before 5 a.m. on Friday. It ended around 5:10 a.m.
The House of Representatives returned after sunrise on Friday and swiftly passed the Biden package, with only one Democrat who had previously announced his opposition the night before the No sent the bill to the Senate.
Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who is on the vote counting team, said it doesn’t appear that McCarthy’s speech changed support for Biden’s bill.
“I think Kevin is also trying to show his conference that he’s a tough guy,” said Jackson Lee. “And he has the right to do so. And when I was there, I showed him the respect that a person on the floor deserves. But honestly there are desperate people in my district who need every single aspect of this law. “
Greg Pence, an Indiana Republican representative and brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, supported the record speech by House minority leader McCarthy. Above, Greg Pence arrives in Washington, DC, for a briefing with members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol on January 8, 2020
Drew Angerer / Getty Images