Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Case Against Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif
Philip Klein (Washington Examiner):

If House Republicans respond to the shocking primary defeat of Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., by elevating his handpicked successor Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., it would be beyond tone-deaf. It would be pure absurdity.…

[I]t’s clear that in recent years, Cantor lost the trust of the conservative base and became a symbol of Washington. Whether it was on immigration or fighting to shrink the size and scope of government, Cantor was increasingly at odds with conservatives and far too cozy with business interests.…

[Cantor’s] defeat presents House Republicans with an opportunity to signal — ahead of the 2014 midterm elections — that they're listening to conservatives. But by elevating McCarthy, who is next in line as whip, they'd be sending the opposite message — that they're determined to crush conservatives.

Several groups placed McCarthy's voting record well to the left of Cantor's for 2013. The American Conservative Union rated McCarthy at 72 percent compared with 84 percent for Cantor; Heritage Action ratings place Cantor at 53 percent and McCarthy at 42 percent; and Club for Growth had Cantor at 68 percent and McCarthy at 53 percent. Moving away from conservative groups, the National Journal rated Cantor the 80th most conservative member of the House while McCarthy was 170th.