One day after Democrats wrested control of Congress away from Republicans, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasted no time in launching a bid for the role of minority leader, Politico reported Wednesday.
But the Bakersfield Republican already faces a challenge from his right, although McCarthy and his allies believe he will win this race handily, Politico reported. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus, has already announced he is running for minority leader.
In a letter sent to other House Republicans on Wednesday, McCarthy suggested the Election Day loss on his watch could also be reversed under his leadership in the minority. There was no hint that McCarthy viewed Tuesday's loss as a national referendum on President Donald Trump's first two years in office. Rather, he doubled-down on his support of the president.
"Today is a difficult day. Our members competed hard across the country. But after months of enduring nonstop biased attacks and unprecedented liberal resources, we came short of defying history and holding the House," McCarthy said in the letter. "Even so, we should not let last night’s results diminish the great gains President Trump and our majority have delivered.
"I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this and I have what it takes to do it again," McCarthy continued. "That is why I have decided to run for Republican Leader and humbly ask for your support."
As GOP lawmakers began to assess the magnitude of the Election Day loss, Jordan made it clear McCarthy won't take the minority leader position without a fight.
"I plan to run for minority leader," Jordan said in a HillTV interview.
Both Jordan and McCarthy are Trump allies. McCarthy is close to Trump and speaks with him on a near-daily basis, Politico said. Trump, however, also fawns over Jordan, a conservative darling and TV star who aggressively defends the president at every turn.