Bill Kristol Advocates for ‘Doomsday Scenario’ in Which Democrats Work with Establishment GOP to Thwart McCarthy’s Speakership

Bill Kristol speaking at an event at the Art Museum at Arizona State University in Tempe,
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Never Trump Republican Bill Kristol is advocating for the “doomsday scenario” whereby establishment Republicans work together with House Democrats to thwart the candidacy of former President Donald Trump’s choice for the next Congress’s speaker of the House, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Kristol noted McCarthy’s vote to object to the certification of President Joe Biden’s election in 2021 and argued Democrats should work with “decent Republicans” to install a “non-election denying” Republican as House speaker.

“The Speaker is a constitutional office, in line for the presidency. Should someone like McCarthy who objected to legal and correct election results be Speaker?” Kristol tweeted. “Shouldn’t Democrats offer to join a few decent Republicans to support a non-election denying Republican for Speaker?”

While Kristol purports to care deeply about the integrity of America’s elections, his comments on McCarthy’s potential speakership go against remarks he made in 2017 when he indicated his support for a coup over “normal democratic and constitutional politics” less than one month after Trump took office.

“Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state,” Bristol tweeted in February 2017.

Conservative commentator John Cardillo noted that Kristol’s staunch opposition to McCarthy’s potential speakership strengthens the House GOP leader’s position as a true advocate for an America First agenda.

“The fact that this loser wants someone other than McCarthy is a good sign that McCarthy is listening to his more America First advisers and moving to the right,” Cardillo tweeted.

However, Kristol’s proposition to House Democrats could become a real-life scenario if House Republicans do not rally behind McCarthy.

Several top conservatives spoke about the possibility of Democrats working with establishment Republicans to thwart McCarthy’s speakership candidacy, saying that would be a “doomsday scenario.”

Although McCarthy easily staved off a challenge from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) for the House GOP’s speaker nomination, the Republicans expected thin majority puts the fate of a potential McCarthy speakership in the hands of just a few Republicans.

If all House members vote for a candidate for speaker of the House at the start of the new Congress next year, McCarthy would need to secure 218 votes to win the speakership.

However, the GOP is projected to have a 222-213 majority in the House, meaning just five Republicans could kill McCarthy’s speakership.

As it stands, a few House Republicans have openly declared their opposition to McCarthy. For example, Rep. Biggs, who received 31 votes in the secret-ballot GOP conference to nominate a candidate for speaker, argued, “it is time to make a change at the top of the House of Representatives” in an op-ed he recently wrote.

“I cannot vote for the gentleman from California, Mr. McCarthy,” Biggs added.

Biggs also claimed this week that there are roughly 20 House Republicans who are “pretty hard nos” on McCarthy.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also opposes McCarthy’s run for speaker. “I’m not voting for Kevin McCarthy. I’m not voting for him tomorrow,” Gaetz said before the GOP conference vote. “I’m not voting for him on the floor.”

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol September 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. House GOP leaders held a news conference to discuss Speaker of the House Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol September 25, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) also opposes McCarthy’s bid for speaker, arguing the GOP “can do better.” Good also echoed Biggs’ claim about the amount of Republicans who do not support McCarthy.

“There are more than enough of us who have resolved not to vote for him,” Good said in a recent interview with Steve Bannon.

Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and Matthew Rosendale (R-MT) have also signaled their opposition to McCarthy.

Further, there are a handful of House Republicans who have not publicly committed to supporting McCarthy, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Scott Perry (R-PA), Barry Moore (R-AL), and Andre Clyde (R-GA).

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to select House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) replacement on January 3, the first day of the new Congress.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter. 


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