Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said the hard-line opponents to House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) becoming the next Speaker “are enemies now.”
Crenshaw told CNN’s Manu Raju on Tuesday ahead of the Speakership vote that those dug in against McCarthy will “obviously” not get the committee assignments they want over their defiance, but “it’s going to be so much worse than that.”
“They are enemies now,” he said. “They have made it clear that they prefer a Democrat agenda than a Republican one.”
Crenshaw earlier on Tuesday dismissed the idea that opponents to McCarthy had a viable alternative who could win enough votes to become Speaker, telling Fox News that they are engaging in a “childish” attempt to gain notoriety.
Multiple Republicans appear set to vote against McCarthy for Speaker, denying him victory on at least the first ballot.
Rep. Bob Good (Va.), one of at least five Republicans who have directly said or strongly indicated they will not support McCarthy, said there are enough votes to stop McCarthy from being chosen as Speaker on the first ballot. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), another opponent, said he plans to vote for Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who previously challenged McCarthy in the GOP House leadership election in November.
Crenshaw told Raju the opponents lost the debate over who should lead the party in the House and that “should have been the end of it.”
“But if you’re a narcissist and you believe that your opinion is so much more than everyone else’s, then you’ll keep going. And you’ll threaten to tear down the team for the benefit of the Democrats just because of your own sense of self-importance,” he said.
He said he and other Republicans will only vote for McCarthy and they are more “stubborn” than their opponents.
McCarthy’s opponents have made numerous demands of him to give him their support for Speaker, and he has made several concessions in proposed House rules and initiatives, but the opponents have said he did not do enough to convince them he should lead.