The Republican establishment is in full meltdown over the collapse of the bid by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.
NPR reported GOP representatives were “audibly crying.”
“Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., said the meeting opened, Republicans said the Pledge and then McCarthy stood up and took himself out of the race. The prohibitive favorite said he didn’t want members to take arrows for voting for him and that he was taking himself out of contention.
“Speaker Boehner then immediately moved to adjourn the meeting. Rooney said there was “total shock” and some members were audibly crying.”
Northeastern liberal Rep. Peter King (R-NY) told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa there were tears flowing after McCarthy announced he was quitting the race for speaker. King also decried the state of affairs in the Republican caucus as “banana republic.”
Rep. Peter King tells me that members are crying in cloakroom, unable to handle the unrest and confusion. "A banana republic," he says.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 8, 2015
“Rep. Peter King tells me that members are crying in cloakroom, unable to handle the unrest and confusion. “A banana republic,” he says.”
The Hill also reported Republicans in tears:
“Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) said McCarthy’s withdrawal drove some lawmakers to tears.
“”The person next to me was crying,” he said.
“Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who has been a fierce critic of the current GOP leadership team, said McCarthy spoke only briefly to the conference.
“”Kevin McCarthy said, ‘I am not the one,’ and it looks like he’s pulling out of the race,” he said.
“”He said, ‘I’m not the one, I’m not the one that can unite the conference and get to 218.”
“Huelskamp said McCarthy’s supporters “all looked in shock to me.”
“”They were lined up to give him a hug,” he said. “I saw tears in eyes.
“”It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen in a long time.””