'Kevin McCarthy is the Ted Cruz of the House': Former RNC head rips apart myth of new speaker's GOP caucus popularity
Kevin McCarthy (Photo by Stefania Reynolds for AFP), Ted Cruz (Photo by Andrew Caballero for AFP)

During an appearance on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show," former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele laughed at the notion that newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would unite his House GOP caucus after a bitter fight that led to 15 ballots before he won.

Speaking with host Jonathan Capehart, Steele reported that one Republican Party lawmaker compared McCarthy to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of whom Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once joked, "If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

"So, were you the least bit surprised by McCarthy's troubles and the troubles he is about to face?" the MSNBC host asked.

"Oh, hell no, no, no!" Steele shot back as he laughed. "Look, I will tell you, one member of the caucus, summed it up for me perfectly. This was a while ago when he said,'Kevin McCarthy is the Ted Cruz of the House.' So, if you want to know how the members feel about Kevin McCarthy, that's all you need to know."

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"The reality is that they don't like him, they did not want him for the job, nobody else stood to take it, no one would take it," he added."I guess if you win by default after 15 ballots, after all of the money that you raised for candidates, and you think because you raise the money that they like you and want you for your leader, then yes, this is what it looks like."

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