Former Speaker McCarthy warns that far-right and far-left lawmakers threaten world peace

McCarthy: ‘You’ve got an isolationist working inside the Republican Party, you’ve got a Democratic Party moving away from Israel’

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 09, 2020 in Washington, DC. McCarthy answered a range of questions related primarily to the House articles of impeachment being sent to the U.S. Senate.

LOS ANGELES — In a no-holds-barred speech on Tuesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) decried growing extremism in Washington, alleging that fringe lawmakers in both parties threaten world peace.

McCarthy, who resigned from Congress at the end of last year after being ousted as House Speaker, blasted Congress for taking six months to pass a bill to increase aid to Ukraine and Israel, and suggested the Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) should have done more to negotiate with President Joe Biden.

“If you don’t use the power of the speakership — because what happened? You say, Why did he change his mind? He overwhelmingly was getting rolled by the Senate bill that sat there. That’s what transpired,” McCarthy said. “We have a system designed to find compromise, but we don’t reward it.” 

McCarthy warned that far-right and far-left figures in Washington threaten global peace, which he said America has maintained for the 79 years since the end of World War II.

“The world looks like the 1930s. You’ve got the Axis of Evil back together. You’ve got a weakness inside Washington. You’ve got an isolationist working inside the Republican Party, you’ve got a Democratic Party moving away from Israel. You’ve got a populism growing — there’s no principle behind it,” said McCarthy. “That is a perfect storm for someone to make something stupid.” It was not clear whether he was referring to a specific Republican individual as “isolationist.”

Moderator Gerard Baker, editor at large at The Wall Street Journal, asked McCarthy about his decision to endorse former President Donald Trump last year despite holding him responsible for the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. McCarthy avoided the Jan. 6 question, and tied his Trump endorsement to President Joe Biden’s actions on the world stage.

“That’s not a hard decision,” McCarthy said. “Our foreign policy is worse based on the decisions of this president.” 

McCarthy blamed his losing the speakership last year on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) desire to delay an ethics investigation into his alleged sexual relationship with a teenager.

“I don’t know anyone that thinks it’s successful except Gaetz. The only success that Gaetz thinks he had is that the ethics complaint has not been done and dealt with,” said McCarthy, who last October became the first-ever House speaker to be removed from the position during the legislative session. “He slept with and paid a 17-year-old, and that’s what’s being investigated. That’s what he wanted to stop.” 

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