In a blow to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Freedom Caucus is endorsing one of his rivals for speaker of the House – and he’s a long shot. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), a member of the caucus, told the Daily Signal why 80 percent of the conservative group is backing Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) during Thursday’s secret ballot:
“I think this reflects the fact that guys and gals are most interested in process reform, regular order and rules changes,” Mulvaney said of Webster’s getting the nod. “Daniel’s track record of [supporting] open process and regular order is a real attraction to us right now.”
The House Freedom Caucus is a group of conservatives with some serious sway; they were largely responsible for booting Boehner from office. McCarthy has reason to be concerned, therefore, after making the unfortunate link between the Benghazi Select Committee and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. McCarthy has since tried to walk back his comments, but could not stop Clinton’s team from using the sound bite in a new campaign ad suggesting Republicans’ Benghazi probe was purely political.
Conservatives have every right to sour on him.
Yet, it seems McCarthy will have a chance to undo the damage he’s done and prove his conservative credentials to his colleagues. The caucus said they could still change their minds come Oct. 29, when the full House votes to elect the next speaker.