Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) told CNN that ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) elbowed him in the hallway, causing pain — a charge that Rep. McCarthy denied. But an NPR Congressional correspondent witnessed what she called a “shove” and the ugly back and forth that ensured on Tuesday.
Burchett told McCarthy he was pathetic and that he needed security, telling Claudia Grisales “(H)e’s on a downhill spiral… he just, that was pretty gutless of him.”
Rep. Burchett says Kevin McCarthy elbowed him in the kidney in a hallway.
CNN’s Manu Raju says Buchett detailed, “A physical altercation in the halls of the capitol from the former speaker of the house hitting him in some pain, and saying that he hit him in the kidney.” pic.twitter.com/xiCvhJY09p
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) November 14, 2023
And then confirmation came in via NPR’s Congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales, who wrote, “Have NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill:
While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…
Burchett’s back was to McCarthy and his detail walking by in the hallway, then the lunge.
Burchett responded jokingly as McCarthy kept walking, “Sorry Kevin didn’t mean to elbow –” then seriously yelled, “why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?
Burchett then looked back at me and said, “jerk” referring to McCarthy. I asked if he had done that before, Burchett said “no.”
That’s when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail. I chased behind with my mic.
@RepTimBurchett yelled after catching up to McCarthy, “Hey Kevin, why’d you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?”
KM: “I didn’t elbow you in the back.”
Burchett: “You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that… You’re pathetic man, you are so pathetic.”
Burchett starts to walk away from McCarthy, tells me, “What a jerk,” and then yells back, “You need security Kevin!”
Burchett tells me that’s the first point of “communication” with McCarthy since Burchett voted for McCarthy’s ouster as speaker last month:
“That’s just it” for communication since ouster vote, “He’s just a jerk. He’s just a childish little…
Burchett adds, “did you just see that?” he asks in disbelief. I’m stunned, too.
Says he won’t follow up with McCarthy on what happened, “he’s on a downhill spiral… he just, that was pretty gutless of him. I’m disappointed in his, in him.
Burchett reiterates he hasn’t talked to McCarthy since he voted against him.
House Republicans have devolved into violence against their own members, including a former Speaker recently ousted, shoving a Republican Representative after the GOP conference meeting. To put this in context, this is what Republicans are doing in the lead up to a shutdown they have brought upon the country.
House Republicans physically assaulting one another is indicative of their failure to lead, inability to govern, and bitter infighting followed by a vicious blame game sans ethical or moral standards for the aforementioned.
This is the party led by a man who calls anyone who doesn’t worship him “vermin” and not only incited an insurrection on January 6th, 2021, but also reportedly refused to leave the White House after that and still thought he should and would be “reinstalled” over the President elected by the People — even years after he lost in the most secure election in U.S. history.
Republicans have normalized violence against their opponents, mocking their own supporters attacking Democrats including the physical assault that led to brain surgery for former Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. Now, the violence is turning in on itself.
Political violence has no place in a democratic, free country and should never be endorsed, incited or modeled by leaders. This is unacceptable behavior, but the Republican Party has decided to tolerate it all in the name of keeping Donald Trump at the top of their party and ticket in 2024.