Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has opened the door to the possibility of running for House speaker again.
During a new interview, McCarthy refused to rule out another run for his old job, provoking speculation he may be planning another bid.
As Slay News reported, McCarthy had previously said he would not run again as speaker.
His comments seemingly closed off any avenue to a possible return and opened the door to other GOP candidates such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
However, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked McCarthy whether he would be open to serving as speaker again if the House was unable to decide on a replacement.
The House GOP scheduled a new speaker election for this Wednesday.
McCarthy would not say no, as the Hill reported.
“Look, the conference has to make that decision,” McCarthy said.
“I’m still a member,” he added.
“I’m going to continue to fight and act.
Hewitt pressed McCarthy once more whether he would be willing to return as speaker if the eight Republicans who opposed him backed off.
The congressman again refused to rule out the possibility.
“Look, whatever the conference wants, I will do,” he said.
“I think we need to be strong.
“I think we need to be united.
“The eight, in my view, don’t look to be — it was a personal thing.”
McCarthy also blasted the rebel Republicans who voted against the GOP-only stopgap proposal to fund the federal government.
He then defended his surrender to the Democrats on the final bill.
“They’re the ones who wanted a government shutdown,” McCarthy said.
“We wouldn’t be paying our troops while we’re putting out a carrier strike fighter there – 30,000 American men and women in our armed services in the Middle East wouldn’t be being paid right now?
“I mean, what weakness would we be at?”
The Hill notes that a handful of Republicans have said McCarthy should be reinstated as speaker.
California congressmen John Duarte and Tom McClintock argue that McCarthy should return in light of the terror attack in Israel launched by Hamas.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) motion to vacate the chair against McCarthy passed after a vote on the House Floor last Tuesday.
This officially removed him from the top job in the House.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), a McCarthy ally, was then appointed as acting Speaker.
In his first act as Speaker pro tempore, McHenry ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to “immediately vacate” her private office in the Capitol, as Slay News reported.