Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene criticized her colleagues Lauren Boebert of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Chip Roy of Texas and Bob Good of Virginia for opposing former House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's bid for House Speaker.
In November 2022, McCarthy garnered the Republican nomination to be House Speaker, but the GOP's disappointing midterm elections performance forced him to "scramble much harder than anticipated to keep his caucus united and behind him," according to The Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper noted at the time McCarthy would face "a difficult road" ahead if he aims to address schisms within the party. He has continued to court the GOP's most conservative factions, including supporters of former Republican President Donald Trump.
McCarthy's troubles continued even as Republicans prepared to take over the House of Representatives.
The chamber was forced to adjourn after McCarthy lost three separate rounds of voting for the position due to what The New York Times referred to as a "right-wing rebellion" designed to block him from the speakership.
McCarthy's failure to secure his party's backing prompted Greene to lash out at Boebert, Gaetz, Perry, Roy and Good—who are all among the more prominent hardline and reactionary conservatives in Congress—during an interview with reporters.
Greene said she was “furious” with her “friends” in the conservative House Freedom Caucus and singled out her four colleagues who, she said, had been positioning themselves for cushy committee assignments during negotiations designed to expedite McCarthy's path to the speakership.
You can hear what Greene said in the video below.
Greene attacked her colleagues for their prior votes and for previously accepting support from McCarthy, saying:
"I am furious. Let me tell you something, while [these are] the conservatives that the base supports and believe in, let me remind everyone [that] they're not perfect either."
"Scott Perry before his general election refused to vote against the bill that was all about the gay marriage bill. He refused to vote against it. He voted for it, then when it came back around after his election, he was able to vote against it."
"Conservatives would not like that. Let me remind everyone of this: Matt Gaetz, who has compared Kevin McCarthy to [former House Speaker] Paul Ryan, my friend Matt Gaetz? He supported Paul Ryan almost more than anyone. It's still on his social media."
"As a matter of fact, his first vote in Congress was for Paul Ryan as Speaker and then he cheered him on for nearly a year and a half or more when people like me were at home furious at Paul Ryan's speakership because it wasn't passing the MAGA agenda that we all supported."
But Greene didn't stop there, going even further to denounce other Republicans for their disloyalty.
"Chip Roy? He refused to object [to the electoral certification] on January 6. That's not what our base wanted. He also set up the vote for the January 6 committee."
"There's many more. Bob Good? $2 million from Kevin McCarthy to get elected. Lauren Boebert? Under $2 million from Kevin McCarthy to get elected."
"Many more people have taken Kevin McCarthy's money to get elected and then there's a few of them that don't want to support him as Speaker, so imagine that. This is not anything about the country, this is all about 'Never Kevin.'"
"They just don't like Kevin McCarthy and you cannot be successful in anything if you aren't able to walk in a room, make what you want, get a deal done, and then walk away... and then get to work and not worry about who you like or who you don't like."
"This is not about prom king. This is not about a pastor. This is about electing a person to sit in the Speaker chair so that we can all get to work."
Greene also pointed out that at a recent House Freedom Caucus meeting in which Republicans had "been negotiating, talking, debating back and forth" three members “were demanding positions for themselves, demanding gavel positions, demanding subcommittees, demanding for people to be taken off committees and people to be put on committees."
Although Perry himself acknowledged to Fox News that the Freedom Caucus sought committee seats before voting for the next House Speaker, he said McCarthy shut down the demand.
Greene, however, said all she has "done is debate and request and argue among my peers for the right things" and that her colleagues ultimately did not advocate for her to take on committee assignments in the new Congress.
The news that Greene had thrown her colleagues under the bus exposed her and Republicans to more criticism at a time when many doubt the GOP's ability to govern effectively.
The House will reconvene at noon today, Wednesday, January 4, to try again to agree on who will serve as the GOP's party leader.
McCarthy has vowed not to drop his bid for the speakership, signaling his opposition to the nomination of Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus behind whom far-right Republicans have coalesced.
McCarthy has said he will force multiple votes if necessary in order to secure the speakership and Jordan himself has urged his colleagues to throw their support behind McCarthy, saying Republicans need to "rally and come together" rather than give in to partisan infighting.