Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), one of GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) biggest critics, has discussed what he believes to be one of the most important qualities to look for in a potential Speaker of the House — and it definitely doesn’t describe McCarthy.
Biggs sees McCarthy as having a lot of ambition for the role, but seriously lacking in humility.
The Arizona congressman is one of 20 House Republicans who have refused to vote for McCarthy for Speaker of the House, despite intense pressure from the GOP establishment through six different votes for the position.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Biggs compared McCarthy’s desire for the speakership to George Washington’s humility.
“George Washington didn’t want to become President. George Washington didn’t want to attend the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. He eventually changed his mind on both. Perhaps the best person for House Speaker isn’t someone who wants it so badly,” he wrote.
George Washington didn't want to become President.
George Washington didn't want to attend the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.
He eventually changed his mind on both.
Perhaps the best person for House Speaker isn’t someone who wants it so badly.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) January 4, 2023
Washington was open about his lack of desire for these important roles that he eventually stepped forward to take on. Further, he didn’t even lobby for command of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.
Instead, Washington is “most known for serving in roles in which his peers sought his leadership,” according to the Western Journal.
Conversely, McCarthy has made it obvious that he has coveted the speaker’s gavel for a long time now.
McCarthy is a career politician. He was elected to the California state legislature in 2002, and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006. Before becoming a lawmaker, he was a longtime congressional staffer. McCarthy has spent practically his entire life in a political career, in some form or another.
Biggs is not the only one who has called out McCarthy for wanting the job too much.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), another ardent critic of the California congressman, made a similar comment while speaking on the House floor on Tuesday.
“Maybe the right person for Speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it so bad,” Gaetz said in an obvious dig at McCarthy.
🔥🔥🔥 @mattgaetz unleashed:
“Maybe the right person for the job of Speaker isn’t someone who wants it so bad. Maybe the right person isn’t somebody who has sold shares of themselves for a decade to get it.” pic.twitter.com/TnDojEWSHr
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) January 3, 2023
Of course, despite the opposition within his own party, and from a clear majority of Republican voters, McCarthy has not given any indication that he plans to withdraw his name from consideration for the speakership — even though he has lost six different votes.
As the Western Journal notes, “If McCarthy can’t secure the votes he needs to oversee the Republican agenda as a speaker, it’s time to step aside and give another leader a chance. A lifetime of naked political ambition isn’t an excuse.”