Kinzinger: I Hope Kevin McCarthy ‘Gets Help’ — Something Is Broken

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said Friday on CNN’s “The Lead” that he believed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) “needs help” because of two physical altercations he had with the ex-speaker.

Anchor Jake Tapper asked, “You are a combat veteran. You served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and you have watched many politicians speak as if Congress itself were a battlefield. They want to score points for their side no matter the costs. This week a Republican lawmaker accused Kevin McCarthy of giving him a sucker elbow to his kidneys. In the book, you write about two physical altercations with McCarty. Tell us what happened.”

Kinzinger said, “Yeah, twice. I’m kind of standing in the back of the House, leaning over that gold railing, just kind of watching what’s going on, talking to people that walked by. And I get – wham! – I get shoulder-checked. Never had that happened on the floor of the House. And I turn, and Kevin McCarthy’s already passed me. And my initial reaction is that we’re friends, and I’m like, wait, we haven’t been friends in a year. That was serious.”

He continued, “Then three weeks later, we were passing each other basically on the same walkway in the House, and he shoulder checks me again, like when are you in fourth grade? And it was just like, what a child. And so the interesting thing is, what are the chances that I write about this in a book, it comes out, he does it to this guy from Tennessee, and then he’s saying like, ‘It was an accident.’ That’s never happened to me from anybody else.”

Kinzinger added, “Kevin McCarthy has compromised his values so much that he is lashing out on the people calling him out. Honestly, I hope he gets help. I think he needs to because his identity was wrapped up in being a speaker. I was a threat to that on January 6 and others are there a threat to that now. They actually took it away. So he is an angry man. When you physically lash out, it goes to show something is broken.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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