Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and allies recently threatened “consequences” for the eight House Republicans who removed the former California lawmaker from the speakership, referred to as the “Gaetz Eight.”
One of McCarthy’s allies who runs a political consultancy called Red Elephant, Brian O. Walsh, is reportedly working to recruit primary challengers against the Republicans who ousted McCarthy from the speakership.
The National Pulse reported that the former California congressman and Walsh are preparing to launch a “revenge tour” using McCarthy’s donor network to ramp up funding for the primary challengers.
In a statement, Walsh said, “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. There must be consequences for that decision.”
McCarthy allies have identified three of the eight House Republicans who ousted the former California lawmaker as being the most vulnerable in primaries, including Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC), Bob Good (R-VA) and Eli Crane (R-AZ), according to Politico.
Supporters of McCarthy have said that the eight House Republicans should fear the former House speaker’s influence.
“One of the most dangerous things that you could do is have an untethered McCarthy,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) said. “In terms of some of the people that have done stupid things over the past several months.”
In 2023, House Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), filed a “motion to vacate” McCarthy from the speakership, citing his decision to pass a stopgap funding bill without any spending cuts.
Gaetz and seven other Republicans argued that the former California congressman had violated a concession he made in January 2023 to become House speaker.
Following McCarthy’s ouster from the speakership, the House Republican Conference nominated several individuals to become the next House speaker, such as Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH).
Given a lack of consensus among Republicans between Scalise and Jordan’s nominations, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) eventually secured his party’s nomination to become House speaker and won.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy ended the year with $9.52 million on hand that can possibly go towards funding his revenge tour. https://t.co/suJ9Nxpb1P
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) February 1, 2024
McCarthy, who departed Congress in December 2023, reportedly has nearly $10 million on hand that he could use to fund primary challengers against those who ousted him.