President Donald Trump is working the phones trying to help get Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) elected as the next Speaker of the House. McCarthy currently has five members that oppose him, which isn't enough to get him into the spot. So, he's got Trump dialing for votes among far-right MAGA caucus members.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Trump is giving his best efforts. Punchbowl News co-founder Anna Palmer told MSNBC that it isn't working.
"I think the most interesting thing here is that despite the fact that the former president is making those calls, he's not convincing folks," she said. "Whether or not in McCarthy sanctioned the calls, whether he's doing it on his own, it is not too far to leap that the former president likes to make calls and does things of his own accord all the time. Right now, the hard thing for Kevin McCarthy is to figure out what is going to appease the right, but also keep his base of support as big as possible."
Republican supporters of McCarthy debuted pins today that say "OK -- Only Kevin," which was something her colleague Jake Sullivan found amusing because it aptly describes McCarthy as nothing more than "ok."
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"That is how he is trying to make the case, that it is really only him," said Palmer. "There is no alternative. And whether or not he had to chip away at those that are opposing, because of issues like the motion to vacate case and some of the other issues of wanting to have bills for 72 hours before being voted on. The question is, do these sorts of lawmakers keep moving the goalpost, or is there anything that is going to appease them?"
McCarthy dodged questions from CNN's Manu Raju earlier about the Speaker battle, grumpy over the fact that he didn't care about the budget battle. The House and Senate have agreed on the budget and it's expected to be passed before the next Congress. It was an issue that House Republicans were hoping to stop from passing, but they failed before they even got started.
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