Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., admitted this week he attempted to oust House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from his leadership position by forcing a vote of no confidence after the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
The plot never took shape because few other House Republicans were willing to go along with it, Kinzinger said.
“I actually thought the person that should have their leadership challenged was Kevin McCarthy after Jan. 6. Because that’s why this all happened,” he said during a Zoom event with the National Press Club.
“I was considering, you know, having a vote of no confidence against Kevin, and our feeling was no, let’s move on,” he added. “We’re gonna vote to impeach the president; we need to move on.”
However, Kinzinger said he regrets not pushing harder for McCarthy’s removal.
“I didn’t go too far and wide with it yet, and I chatted with kind of a close group of mine. And the feeling in that close group — I won’t reveal who it is — but the feeling that group was kind of, you know, we’re taking a big step, the president is going to be ‘XYZ,’ and now it’s time that we have to heal as a party. I was like, ‘Well, I’m not going to do it alone. I still believe that Kevin should at least have his leadership challenged,’” Kinzinger said.
Now the tables have turned, Kinzinger added, referencing House Republicans’ plans to oust Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her position as the conference chair.
“And then everybody went on the offense against Liz. And that’s what was a brilliant strategic play, because then all of a sudden, you know, Liz is the one playing defense, for what?” he said.
McCarthy and other House Republicans plan to remove Cheney from her leadership position this week, arguing it is clear the House GOP needs “to make a change.”
“If we are to succeed in stopping the radical Democratic agenda from destroying our country, these internal conflicts need to be resolved so as to not detract from the efforts of our collective team,” McCarthy wrote in a note to his colleagues on Monday.