Jolly, who left the Republican Party in 2018, weighed in on McCarthy’s current dilemma after the speaker capitulated on a Joe Biden impeachment inquiry to far-right Republicans who eventually backed his drawn-out bid for the leadership role.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Jolly observed that Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and “even Kevin McCarthy, who allows all of this,” are really “carrying the heartbeat of today’s Republican Party.”
“And you realize, it really is an embarrassing club to be considered a member of,” he said.
“Right now, however, Matt Gaetz, kind of the leader of that club, has Kevin McCarthy exactly where he wants him,” he continued. “I don’t think we should feel bad for Kevin McCarthy, because he has created this moment.”
“And if there are Republicans in the caucus tonight who feel embarrassment, you created it too,” he added. “Because you elected Kevin McCarthy speaker under this corrupt bargain that he struck with Gaetz and others.”
Gaetz is threatening to force a vote to oust McCarthy from his post if he does not meet a list of demands on spending and legislation. McCarthy made a deal with Gaetz and his far-right allies in order to gain their support during his bid for the gavel, and has since been caught between that faction and the rest of his caucus.
“If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the fucking motion,” McCarthy reportedly dared Republican colleagues last week as tensions reached a boiling point.
The federal government will partially shut down at the end of September if Congress can’t pass a spending bill or an interim measure, which House Republicans are bitterly divided over.
Watch Jolly’s MSNBC appearance below.