Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Saturday he had “reached out” to Democrats over Islamophobic comments from one of his parties, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, about Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar.

Boebert apologized for the remarks, in which she compared one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress to a suicide bomber on Friday, saying she would meet Omar in person. Omar responded by condemning the statements and calling for action by party leaders.

In a statement to CNN, McCarthy said: “I was talking to Leader [Steny] Hoyer today to help facilitate that meeting so that Congress can come back to talk to each other and work on the challenges facing the American people. “

McCarthy did not condemn Boebert’s remarks. He also faced criticism from his own ranks, after another pro-Trump extremist, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, tweeted that she had “a good call” with McCarthy and liked “what he has planned ahead”.

Greene had criticized McCarthy and sought to cast doubt on his ambitions to be a speaker if Republicans are likely to take Parliament back next year.

A Republican who spoke anonymously to CNN and was described as a moderate said McCarthy “took the middle of the conference for granted. McCarthy could have a bigger math problem [in the election for speaker] with the moderates ”.

The anonymous moderate said his wing of the party – perhaps more of a butt, given Donald Trump’s dominance – was outraged by McCarthy’s embrace of extremists.

One such extremist, Paul Gosar of Arizona, was censored this month for tweeting a video depicting him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York – as did Omar, a leading progressive and colored woman in Congress – and threatening Joe Biden.

Gosar lost committee duties. McCarthy said he would get them back under a Republican rostrum, keeping the same view of Greene, who was stripped of his committees in February for racist, anti-Semitic and generally agitating behavior.

McCarthy has faced calls from the right wing to punish Republicans who voted for the two-party infrastructure bill, as well as the 10 who voted to put Trump in court over the deadly Capitol riot.

Two who voted for a state court case, Adam Kinzinger from Illinois and Anthony Gonzalez from Ohio, will retire next year. Primary challengers are waiting for the rest, including Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a strict conservative who is still divided from the Trumpists because of the Capitol attack.

On Saturday, Kinzinger criticized the minority leader’s call for Greene, writing: “Here’s really strength when Kevin McCarthy has to call a novice and beg for permission to stay in power. What has Kevin promised? The people deserve to know.”

Him too said it was “a long time ago” since most “normal members… last spoke to Kevin”.

The anonymous moderate, who spoke to CNN, said the party was on a “collision course” with itself as their side “is not going to take that much longer”.

On Sunday, Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas, who is seen by some as a possible presidential candidate from the more moderate side of the party, told CNN’s State of the Union that McCarthy should have condemned Boebert.

“Even in our own caucus, our own members, if they go the wrong way, I think it needs to be called out,” Hutchinson said. “It must be dealt with, especially when it breaks the courtesy, when it crosses the border in the form of violence or increased divisions in our country.”

Earlier this week, Jackie Speier, a senior California Democrat, told the Guardian that McCarthy had “a number of radical extremists in his caucus who are very effective right-wing communicators, and he can not really rein them in because he rein them in. means they will attack him.

“So they’ve become the face of the House Republicans. You might as well put a brass ring in Kevin McCarthy’s nose because they’re pulling him around.”

By Victor

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