Peter King: Freedom Caucus Withholding Votes From McCarthy ‘Stuff That Goes On In Banana Republics’

Representative Peter King (R-NY) said that he doesn’t consider members of the House Freedom Caucus conservatives, and said them withholding votes from Kevin McCarthy is “the stuff that goes on in banana republics” on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room.”

King said of the Freedom Caucus, “I don’t even consider them conservatives. You’re talking about less than 10% of the Republican Party, you’re talking about about 5% of the House of Representatives, and they’re trying to blackmail the party, hijack the Congress, and this has never happened before and it shouldn’t. [Rep.] Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would have had support 85 to 90% of the Republican Party, yet they are willing to hold out their votes to keep him under 218. That’s the stuff that goes on in banana republics. It goes on in some European parliaments, where governments topple. The speaker of the House is a constitutional officer, and for these people who say they respect tradition and the Constitution, you know, fight it out, win that conference, say whatever you want about anybody, have the vote, and then unless you have some severe moral objection, unless you have some crisis of conscience, you are obligated to vote for the choice of your party. Listen, I’ve gone against the party on different votes, on different issues, but the fact is, when you’re talk about organizing the Congress of the United States, with the person second in line to be president of the United States, you better have a damn good reason to vote no, and these guys don’t. I’ve been listening to their reasons all week, and there’s a new one every day. I think the main one seems to be, they want — you know, more of them want to be on top committees, and they’re holding the House hostage for that. It’s wrong, and we can’t allow that to happen.”

King also stated he wasn’t aligned with the Freedom Caucus on the debt ceiling, and “I don’t think any reasonable person could be, and this — that’s not a conservative position. This is money we owe. Since when does it become conservative to be a deadbeat, to default on your debts, to risk the US’ credit rating? This is wrong. These guys are posing as conservatives, and I don’t know what they really are, but I don’t consider them conservative at all. This is not the party of Ronald Reagan, or the party of Henry Hyde, or for that matter, the party of Robert Taft. These are guys off on their own, and we can’t allow this to go on. It’s bad enough they brought down a speaker. It’s even worse now, that they brought down the person who was the choice for speaker. We have to get this behind us, and I think [Rep.] Paul Ryan (R-WI), despite all that I’ve just said, he’s totally acceptable to me, and I think he’d even be acceptable to the people I’ve just been criticizing.”

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