- Kevin McCarthy has failed to secure the 218 votes he needs to become speaker after 11 votes.
- Nancy Pelosi said McCarthy might need a “doctor” or a “psychiatrist” after so many losses.
- “It’s really sad. I don’t even understand it,” Pelosi told Politico reporter Meredith Lee Hill on Thursday.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that Rep. Kevin McCarthy might need “a doctor,” after losing so many speakership votes.
“It’s really sad. I don’t even understand it,” Pelosi told Politico reporter Meredith Lee Hill, summing up a day of failed ballots in McCarthy’s bid to be speaker.
“Given any version of it. I think you would need a doctor or a psychiatrist,” Pelosi added, per Hill.
As of Thursday, McCarthy had lost 11 consecutive votes in his attempt to become speaker. This was even after he agreed to some procedural demands from rebelling Republicans who objected to his leadership.
Pelosi’s team also sent out a fundraising email on Thursday evening following McCarthy’s multiple failed votes. Insider saw a message from the “Nancy Pelosi for Congress” team, sent with the subject line: “RE: Kevin McCarthy.”
“We’re mere days into the new Republican House, and one thing has never been clearer: Republicans have already proven that they have no interest in governing For the People,” the email from Pelosi’s fundraising team received by Insider.
“While Democrats are unified and proud behind our new Leadership Team, ready to get to work protecting Americans’ fundamental freedoms… Republicans have fallen into utter chaos – unable to even vote for a Speaker,” the email continued. “I refuse to let Republicans’ mayhem and extremist plans erase all of the incredible progress that Democrats have made.”
No love lost between Pelosi and McCarthy
There is no love lost between Pelosi and McCarthy. In July 2021, Pelosi called McCarthy a “moron” for criticizing the congressional mask mandate. Three days after Pelosi’s July 2021 comments, McCarthy joked at a Republican fundraising event that it would be “hard not to hit” Pelosi with the speaker’s gavel if he were to take over her job.
Meanwhile, McCarthy has been accused by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz — one of the key “Never Kevin” representatives — of squatting in Pelosi’s former office, the speaker’s suite, despite not having landed the job yet. The “Never Kevin” crew is led by right-wing Republicans who remain strongly opposed to McCarthy’s leadership, and include outspoken members like Gaetz, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar.
McCarthy needs 218 votes to take the speaker’s gavel. As of Thursday, the congressman has failed to secure the votes a historic 11 times, with hardline members of the House Freedom Caucus still refusing to back him.
Representatives for McCarthy and Pelosi did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.