‘Republican leadership would rather shift blame to…the House Freedom Caucus rather than own their mistakes…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., attributed Democratic gains in November’s midterm elections to the GOP’s push to roll back Obamacare and other existing health insurance protections.
In a private conference call with donors, McCarthy called out the House Freedom Caucus, arguing that several of the conservative group’s members lost their seats to Democrats because they singled out the wrong issue without providing a reasonable solution, according to the Washington Post.
“When we couldn’t pass the repeal of Obamacare the first way through, an amendment came because the Freedom Caucus wouldn’t vote for,” McCarthy said. “That amendment put the preexisting condition campaign against us, and so even people who are running for the very first time got attacked on that. And that was the defining issue and the most important issue in the race.”
McCarthy suggested that the Republican candidates who continued to push against healthcare underestimated how decisive the issue was during the election.
“Republicans carried the economy overwhelmingly. We carried even immigration. We even carried the social issues. But there was one issue we lost overwhelmingly — it was health care by 66 points. Had we lost health care just by 34 points, we’d still be in the majority. We’d have those other 80,000 votes that we needed.”
Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, said McCarthy’s remarks were “very troublesome.”
“I hoped the us-versus-them mentality of the past was something that indeed was in the past,” Meadows said.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon slammed McCarthy for choosing to blame his colleagues rather than taking responsibility for the establishment GOP’s failures.
“Once again, Republican leadership would rather shift blame to their more principled colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus rather than own their mistakes,” Brandon said in a statement. “Minority Leader McCarthy thinks that because the House Freedom Caucus took a principled stand to give states the flexibility to waive two of Obamacare’s costly mandates, they deserve the blame for the GOP’s midterm thumping.”
“Newsflash: Republicans lost the House because of inept leadership by establishment folks like former Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy,” Brandon continued. “Republicans campaigned on a full repeal of Obamacare, and the House Freedom Caucus were some of the only members to have the backbone to make good on their promise.
“Leader McCarthy should concentrate on stopping the socialist proposals coming down the pipe from House Democrats instead further alienating conservatives.”