Outgoing Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger offered a bleak prediction for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy if he is elected House Speaker now that the GOP has secured control of the House of Representatives following the midterm election results.
Speaking on CNN, Kinzinger said he doesn't think McCarthy is "going to last very long" because "he has cut so many deals with bad people to get to this position" that undermine his capacity to lead.
Kinzinger noted that McCarthy has made the mistake of aligning himself far too closely with former Republican President Donald Trump and must bear responsibility for the far-right extremists who have gained more prominence within the GOP.
You can hear what Kinzinger said in the video below.
When asked what kind of Speaker he expects McCarthy to be, Kinzinger said:
"If you had asked me five years ago, I would have said a pretty good one. Now, I think he has cut so many deals with bad people to get to this position that I think he's not going to be a leader."
"I think he'll be completely hostage to kind of the extreme wings of the Republican Party. And I frankly don't think he's going to last very long."
"Maybe he'll prove me wrong but it's sad to see a man that I think had so much potential just totally sell himself. He's the one that resurrected Donald Trump."
"The second he went to Mar-a-Lago a week or two after Jan. 6, he resurrected Donald Trump politically. So he owns everything that Trump says now."
McCarthy won 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 that McCarthy will 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 President Trump.
Many echoed Kinzinger's assessment and criticized McCarthy further.
Kinzinger issued his remarks as he winds down his career in Congress.
First elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, Kinzinger saw his national profile rise considerably due to his vocal opposition to Trump's claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 general election, which he lost decisively to Democratic President Joe Biden.
Kinzinger took a leading role on the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection, the day a mob of Trump's supporters attacked the nation's seat of government on the false premise the election had been stolen.
Amid regular attacks and even threats from conservatives both inside and outside of Congress, Kinzinger announced last year that he would not seek re-election and will leave Capitol Hill.