Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s George Santos issue was put on full display when McCarthy broke down while pressing Face The Nation.
Video of the full McCarthy interview:
Transcript via Face The Nation from CBS:
MARGARET BRENNAN: According to Gallup, the approval rating from Congress is 22%. Approval for journalists isn’t very high either, I’ll admit that. But isn’t credibility further undermined if you put someone under federal, local, federal, and international investigations on committees as your party’s representative?
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: Are you talking about Swalwell?
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m talking about George Santos, representative from New York.
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: We should have this discussion. So let’s have this discussion. You want to bring up Santos, and let’s talk about the institution itself, because I wholeheartedly agree that Congress is broken. And I think you — I think your listeners or viewers should understand what proxy voting was, because it never happened, because it never happened before in Congress.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m asking you about George Santos.
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: I know you asked me a question. let me ask you-
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because you could vote on it to try to oust him –
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: You asked me a question. I would appreciate if you let me answer. So let’s go through that, because it’s not an easy answer. The Congress is broken due to the events of the last Congress. The American public couldn’t see us. People voted by proxy, which means you didn’t have to show up for work, Bills didn’t have to go through the committee. So what I’m trying to do is open people’s homes back up for people to have their voices there – to hold people accountable. Just like I did just last week, every member was allowed to vote for the first time in seven years.
MARGARET BRENNAN: If you could get a third of your group to vote to oust him, you could do that.
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: Let me –
MARGARET BRENNAN: You don’t think you could get your Republicans to do that?
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: I wasn’t finished answering the question. So if every single new person who entered Congress was elected by their constituents, their constituents lent their voice to the American public. So these members can all serve on the committee. What I’m trying to do now is change some of those committees as well, just like the Intel committee is different than any other committee —
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’re just not going to answer my question?
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: Well, no, no. You won’t get a question if I answer it. You asked a question, I’m trying to get you through.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I don’t think you’ve ever spoken the name George Santos.
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: But guess what?
MARGARET BRENNAN: You talk about proxy voting –
NARRATOR MCCARTHY: No, no, no. But you know, you started by asking that Congress was broken, and I agreed with you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: No, Congress –
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: But I answered the question of how Congress broke up and how we’re changing it. So if I can finish the question you asked me about how Congress is broken, I’ve put every single member on an equal footing. They were simply elected by their constituents. You have a right of service. So that means Santos can serve on a committee in the same way as Swalwell, who had a relationship with a Chinese spy, but they won’t serve at Intel because I think –
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McCarthy can’t defend his continued support of George Santos, so he tried to change the subject to Eric Swalwell. For the record, Rep. Swalwell is not under criminal investigation anywhere because Eric Swalwell did nothing wrong.
The Speaker keeps getting asked about his decision to oppose a vote to expel Santos from Congress and he doesn’t have a good answer, suggesting that George Santos could be booted from the House should an expulsion vote be voted on.
Kevin McCarthy’s defense of George Santos keeps getting twisted, full of lies and pathetic. With a majority of just four votes, Santos is an anchor McCarthy can’t take from his neck.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House press pool and congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in political science. His thesis focused on public policy with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association