Pundit Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News reported Tuesday that several prominent members of the anti-Kevin McCarthy rebel group in the House Republican conference had gone totally deranged.
“In a private mtg yesterday, GAETZ, BOEBERT, PERRY told McCarthy …” Sherman wrote via Twitter, “that they don’t mind if the speaker vote goes to plurality and @RepJeffries is elected bc they’ll fight him.”
So, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), and Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Penn.) “don’t mind” if the new speaker of the House is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a committed left-liberal with a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 4.2, rather than Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), a moderate conservative with a lifetime ACU score of 84.2.
Clearly, these three must have gone bonkers. Whatever his shortcomings, Kevin McCarthy is a better friend of freedom than Jeffries. By the ACU’s standards, McCarthy is 20 times more right-wing than his Democrat rival. And McCarthy would make life less miserable for these three than would Jeffries, a solidly left-wing Democrat.
So, I asked the offices of these three House members to confirm Sherman’s incredible report.
“This is not true,” said Bob Stout, spokesman for Rep. Boebert.
Joel Valdez, communications director for Rep Gaetz, said: “Jake Sherman’s reporting is false.”
“It is a blatant lie that we would back Rep. Jeffries at any time,” said Rep. Perry’s spokesman, Jay Ostrich. “Congressman Perry is fighting to end the status quo, and he remains open to any Republican candidate who will end the dysfunction in Washington. We’ve worked in good faith for months, and, if Rep. McCarthy comes around and accepts the offer to reach 218, we expect him to govern in good faith — and that includes no retaliation against those who have worked with us on behalf of the American People to change the status quo in Washington as their voters sent them here to do.”
Could these three congressmen have issued these denials as smokescreens to conceal their remarks to McCarthy?
This seems highly unlikely.
It would be quite a coincidence, or conspiracy, for all three of these lawmakers to tell McCarthy one thing and then publicly, categorically, and thoroughly deny to a journalist, on the record, that they did not make those comments.
If these three wanted to play games, they either would have issued wishy-washy denials or simply ignored my questions. Instead, they all replied promptly. Boebert’s spokesman responded in 63 minutes, Gaetz’s in 43 minutes, and Perry’s in 11.
So, it seems that there is nothing to Jake Sherman’s report that these three anti-McCarthyites have lost their minds. Whatever one might think of their votes against McCarthy, they are not secret stalking horses for Hakeem Jeffries.
If nothing else, House Republicans have that going for them.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.