During Tuesday’s appearance on CNN, Mitchell was asked what he thought of McCarthy’s role in the push to oust Cheney from her leadership position.
“I just think Kevin’s primary interest is achieving to get the gavel. He will do almost anything to get the gavel and become speaker — short of throwing his mother under the bus,” Mitchell responded.
He continued, “Unfortunately, the drive for political power, for that prestige for some people, is extraordinary. And I think in this case, it’s overwhelmed the best interests of the nation, of members of his party, and will not be long-term good for the country.”
He suggested that if Republicans regain control of the House after the 2022 midterm elections, McCarthy will not have enough support among the members of his caucus to become the House speaker.
Watch the video below:
“Right now, the Republican Party is not healthy,” says ex-GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell, as a vote is expected to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership role.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “will do almost anything to get the gavel and become Speaker.” https://t.co/21Js4nuns8 pic.twitter.com/ubrW71MpNZ
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) May 11, 2021
On Monday, McCarthy said in a letter that members should “anticipate a vote on recalling the Conference Chair on Wednesday.”
His comments come as Republicans have grown frustrated with the Wyoming Congresswoman over her insistence on pushing back on former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread election fraud.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Post last week, Cheney argued that Republicans should “stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality.”
“History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process,” she added.
Axios reported that McCarthy was caught on a hot mic blasting Cheney, as he said, “I think she’s got real problems. I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.”
In December 2020, Mitchell announced he was leaving the Republican Party over Trump’s election claims.
In a letter, Mitchell said he supports the right of candidates to ask for a recount or challenge the results in courts. However, he said Trump “failed to provide evidence of fraud or administrative failure on a scale large enough to impact the outcome of the election.”
He added, “If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and ‘stop the steal’ rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, which the Department of Homeland Security said was ‘the most secure in American history,’ our nation will be damaged.”
Mitchell shared in 2019 that he would not run for reelection in 2020 as he claimed lawmakers were “too busy playing politics.”
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