Kevin McCarthy won’t run for House speaker again, says he has no regrets

Hours after being ousted as speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy said he was “at peace” with how it played out and that he “wouldn’t change a thing.”

The California Republican said at a press conference Tuesday evening that he will not run for speaker again. He added that he hadn’t though about resigning from Congress.

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McCarthy said he had no regrets: “I don’t regret standing up for choosing government over grievance. It is my responsibility. It is my job. I do not regret negotiating. Our government is designed to find compromise. I don’t regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions. I was raised to solve problems not create them.”

“I may have lost this vote today, but as I walk out of this chamber I feel fortunate to have served … I wouldn’t change a thing.”

— Rep. Kevin McCarthy

McCarthy lashed out at Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who led the effort to oust him as speaker.  “It had nothing to do about spending,” McCarthy said. “It was all about getting attention.”

As for the eight hardline Republicans who voted against him, McCarthy said “They don’t get to say they’re conservative because they’re angry and chaotic.”

He also blamed Democrats for his ouster, and said the current system in the House of Representatives is broken. “My fear is the institution fell today, because you can’t do the job,” he said.

“Unfortunately, 4 percent of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican speaker in this House.”

When asked if he had any advice for the next speaker, McCarthy said: “Change the rules.”

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