Last Updated on November 14, 2023
Former Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy acknowledged “I guess our shoulders hit” when trying to defend himself against Congressman Tim Burchett’s accusation that McCarthy elbowed him in the back.
Tim Burchett of Tennessee belongs to the “Courageous 8” caucus that voted to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership using the motion to vacate rule, marking the first time the motion to vacate rule has been used to successfully strip the gavel from a sitting Speaker of the House.
“A reporter was interviewing Burchett or something. I guess our shoulders hit because Burchett runs up to me after, I didn’t know what he was talking about…I did not run and hit the guy, I did not kidney punch him,” McCarthy said, also denying that he might have shoved Burchett. (WATCH MCCARTHY’S WEIRD, DEFENSIVE RESPONSE TO THE PRESS).
Audio credited to NPR demonstrates that Burchett clearly said “Why did you elbow me in the back, Kevin?” He then said, “Hey Kevin, you got any guts?” and he called McCarthy a “jerk.”
Burchett stuck by his story in an interview and mentioned a witness to the alleged attack, who was stunned by McCarthy’s alleged violence.
McCarthy is clearly a hothead, as the evidence shows. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida said of McCarthy, “He loses his temper sometimes,” after a separate incident in which McCarthy reportedly shouted at Gaetz during the Matt Gaetz-orchestrated 22 days of chaos in which populists ousted McCarthy from the speakership and prevented him from getting the gavel again.
Tensions are high.