An Out-for-Blood Kevin McCarthy Is Plotting Revenge on the Republicans Who Ousted Him: Report

How is Kevin McCarthy taking his historic dethroning? It would seem not great, based on the revenge campaign he’s said to be mounting!

Politico reports that McCarthy and his allies are “mobilizing to oust the eight GOP lawmakers who joined Democrats to depose him.” Specifically, Brian Walsh, a top ally of the ex-Speaker, “is overseeing an attempt to recruit primary challengers to take on members of the infamous ‘Gaetz Eight’—the Capitol’s nickname for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and seven Republicans who supported his fire-McCarthy push,” according to half a dozen people with knowledge of the plans.

“These traitors chose to side with Nancy Pelosi, AOC, and over 200 Democrats to undermine the institution, their fellow Republicans and a duly elected Speaker,” Walsh told Politico in a statement. “There must be consequences for that decision.” The outlet reports that McCarthy’s team has identified three of the eight lawmakers most vulnerable to primary challenges: representatives Nancy Mace, Bob Good, and Eli Crane. Walsh reportedly made a trip to Charleston last year where he interviewed more than a dozen candidates said to be interested in going up against Mace; Catherine Templeton, viewed as one of the strongest of the bunch, will reportedly launch a bid next week, and “McCarthy’s allies have signaled interest in devoting significant firepower to her.” (While an adviser to Templeton said the ex-Speaker did not recruit her, he admitted she did meet with Walsh who, Politico notes, “is considered an extension of McCarthy.”)

McCarthy’s feelings towards the “Gaetz Eight,” and Gaetz in particular, were on display last November, shortly before he resigned from Congress. Speaking to Politico, the ex-Speaker said: “You have a cross section [of Florida Republicans in Congress]. You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members.”

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