Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), John Boehner’s presumed successor to the House speakership, caused a stir on Fox News Wednesday night when he seemed to suggest that Hillary Clinton was losing voters because of the Benghazi Select Committee’s existence:
"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy told Hannity. "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 any of that had happened, had we not fought."
The media jumped on his remarks as proof that Republicans only established the Benghazi committee to try and damage Clinton’s reputation ahead of next year’s presidential election. Yet, other leading House Republicans are denying McCarthy’s comments and ensuring Americans that the committee was created with our four murdered diplomats in mind.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), for instance, though he supports McCarthy as Speaker, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer just how “inappropriate” he thought the statement was:
“That’s an absolutely inappropriate statement,” Chaffetz said. “It is not how this started, we wanted to get to the truth of it.”
There was never a political “directive” and to make that connection is “unfair,” he added.
Chaffetz said the gaffe shouldn’t disqualify McCarthy from assuming the speakership, but he should certainly say sorry:
“I think it was an absolute, terrible statement,” he said. “I think he should apologize.”