Moderate House Republican warns McCarthy over embracing far-right members

Moderate House Republican warns McCarthy over embracing far-right members
House Television/AP

A moderate House Republican is firing off a warning shot at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as he caters to his right flank in a quest for the speaker’s gavel.

“He’s taking the middle of the conference for granted,” the GOP lawmaker told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal conference dynamics. “McCarthy could have a bigger math problem with the moderates.”

Specifically, this lawmaker said a number of moderates are upset with how McCarthy has embraced some of the extremists in the GOP conference and warned it could hurt the party in swing districts and undermine their chances of winning back the majority.

McCarthy has promised to reinstate Reps. Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene to their committees if the GOP wins back the House, and he has yet to weigh in on the anti-Muslim comments from Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has since apologized. Greene — who recently laid out a list of demands for her speaker’s vote and said she has no respect for the current GOP leadership — said Friday evening that she had spoken to McCarthy by phone, describing it as a “good call.” She also said she likes “what he has planned ahead.”

The moderate lawmaker warned that the two wings of the party were headed for a “collision course,” and predicted other moderate lawmakers would start speaking out publicly if McCarthy doesn’t do more to rein in the fringe members in the party.

“Our side isn’t going to take this much longer,” the lawmaker said.

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