Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted as House speaker earlier Tuesday, says he will not run again to be House speaker.
“I may have lost a vote today, but I fought for what I believe in—and I believe in America. It has been an honor to serve,” McCarthy posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
He noted the small number of Republican House members who had voted against him.
“Unfortunately 4% of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican speaker in this House,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think that rule is good for the institution, but apparently I’m the only one.”
He said he doesn’t “regret standing up for choosing governing over grievance.”
“I do not regret negotiating,” the California Republican added, presumably alluding to his decision to advance a 45-day continuing resolution. “Our government is designed to find compromise. I don’t regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions. I was raised to solve problems, not create them. So I may have a lost vote today but as I walk out of this chamber I feel fortunate to have served the American people.”
“I leave the speakership with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and yes, optimism,” he said.
McCarthy did accuse Rep. Matt Gaetz, who filed the motion to vacate, of being motivated by “personal” reasons.
“You know it was personal. It had nothing to do about spending,” McCarthy said, mentioning Gaetz sending out emails fundraising and seeking media attention.
“That’s not governing,” he continued. “That’s not becoming of a member of Congress, and regardless of what you think, I’ve seen the texts, it was all about his ethics.”
Gaetz, who is under investigation from the House Ethics Committee, said McCarthy’s accusation was “totally false.”
“I’m the most investigated man in the entire United States Congress. I’ve been cleared by the FBI, DOJ [Justice Department], Federal Election Commission,” the Florida Republican told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an interview Tuesday night.
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