House Republicans on Tuesday night loudly heckled President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is now sending them a public warning about the optics.
Via CNN's Manu Raju, McCarthy appeared on Fox News on Wednesday morning and was asked about his members' behavior during Biden's speech, which was highlighted by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) yelling the word "liar" at the president.
McCarthy accused Biden of deliberately trying to elicit angry reactions from Republicans, but he also said Republicans needed to do a better job of resisting the temptation to lash out.
"He tries to use that for a political ploy, but the one thing we need to be is -- we need to be smart," he said. "We need to be smart, don’t take the bait, stay with the American public about what we want to do."
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During Biden's speech, McCarthy tried multiple times to signal to his members that they should quiet down during their heckling of Biden, but he apparently wasn't heeded.
McCarthy, who has a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, has faced questions about whether he can control his caucus ever since it took him 15 votes to finally garner enough support to become Speaker of the House.