When it rains, it pours. Kevin McCarthy probably needs an umbrella. Fresh after suffering one of the most humiliating rebukes in political history, the former Speaker of the Hosue is facing a new headache.
A wealthy California Republican and Trump loyalist has launched a campaign to defeat McCarthy in the upcoming congressional primary in California. After commending the eight House Republicans who cast their votes to oust the powerful Californian from his leadership role earlier in the month, David Giglio is looking to finish the job after the 9-term congressman failed to retire out of embarrassment.
Giglio announced his House campaign on Monday, vowing to work alongside former President Donald Trump to “WAGE WAR” against the “corrupt uniparty,” a phrase often used by some conservatives to refer to Washington, D.C., as a political “swamp” that must be drained, reports The Washington Examiner.
“Kevin McCarthy has failed the American people,” Giglio said in a statement. “I am excited to announce my campaign to defeat Kevin McCarthy in California’s 20th Congressional District. After years of being sold out to special interests, the people of the Central Valley deserve an America First Republican fighting for them in Washington.”
In his announcement, Giglio also praised the eight Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to oust McCarthy as speaker earlier this month. Giglio called the GOP lawmakers “courageous,” accusing McCarthy of working with Democrats and President Joe Biden when he passed a bipartisan continuing resolution in September to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown.
“Now more than ever, it is imperative that we replace career politicians and elect America First Republicans who will secure the southern border, stop the weaponization of government, drain the corrupt swamp, and annihilate permanent Washington,” Giglio said.
While there were rumors that McCarthy would go home and lick his wounds after becoming the first ever Speaker to be ousted, the California congressman said he intended to run for reelection.
“I’m not resigning. I got a lot more work to do,” McCarthy told reporters.
McCarthy has a strong reputation for being a successful fundraiser and has won reelection with ease in previous years. While serving as Speaker, he was a strong advocate for Trump.
“David Giglio, a self-proclaimed ‘America First’ Republican who owns and operates a sports card and memorabilia business,” writes Newsweek, “previously ran a failed campaign in the 2022 GOP primary for California’s 13th Congressional District.
Giglio’s campaign could be facing an uphill battle in attempting to unseat McCarthy, who has easily won reelection in the past and is known for an impressive record of raising large amounts of money from GOP donors.
Giglio, who worked as a high school history teacher before entering politics, will likely be banking on his appeal to the MAGA faithful in the primary, drawing on his own credentials as a devotee to Trump’s movement.
Giglio has repeatedly praised Trump and his movement on social media while claiming that MAGA is a ‘moderate’ form of conservatism.”
Whenever I hear the media or Democrats ranting about “extreme #MAGA Republicans, I can’t help but laugh because we are actually the “moderate MAGA Republicans.”
But that’s why the Dems & the media are so terrified. Populism appeals to blocs of voters Democrats believe they own.
— David Giglio (@DavidGiglioCA) April 19, 2023
One problem the challenger may face comes in the form of his idol himself. Donald Trump, while staying quiet during the move to remove the gavel from McCarthy’s clutches, has in the past been a support of the California Republican.
The Washington Post noted in January, when the initial rebellion against McCarthy was lauched, that the former president had McCarthy’s back, “Writing mostly in capital letters on Truth Social, his social media site, Trump told House Republicans that “IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT.”
“Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB — JUST WATCH!” Trump wrote.
McCarthy, a California Republican, fell short on three ballots Tuesday for House speaker. Twenty GOP opponents of a McCarthy speakership appeared unswayed by Trump’s previous endorsement.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,” Trump said.”
The California primary will be held on March 5, 2024.