Throughout the stalemate in the U.S. House over the selection of the next Speaker of the House that has dominated national political news all week, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado has become increasingly vocal about the dilemma faced by would-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Although Rep. Buck has voted for McCarthy in each of the six rounds of balloting so far, Buck has made no secret of his growing consternation, telling almost everyone who asks that McCarthy is quickly running out of time and support. Jeff Rice reports for the Sterling Journal-Advocate, a Buck-friendly publication in his district:
Buck told CNN on Wednesday that he had talked with McCarthy and with Rep. Steven Scalise of Louisiana about the possibility of McCarthy stepping aside to see whether Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House, could garner the votes needed to win the Speaker’s chair.
Buck told CNN’s Jake tapper on Wednesday that he can no longer support McCarthy because it’s become clear the California Republican cannot break the deadlock that Boebert and her cohorts have caused.
“Kevin McCarthy, I think, will make the decision at some point and what’s going to happen and what should happen sooner rather than later, is some of the senior members, some the cardinals on appropriations and the committee chairman and some of the other folks who have been here a long time, have supported Kevin are going to have to have that private conversation with him that this doesn’t make sense and we need to move forward,” Buck said.
“I’ve had a number of conversations with Kevin, and I basically told him at some point this needs to break loose,” Buck said in the interview. “He either needs to make a deal to bring the 19 or 20 over, or he needs to step aside to give somebody the chance to do that.
“I don’t know what that timeframe is, but it makes sense that at some point today we’re able to move forward in a way that we elect a speaker,” Buck continued…
Buck suggested Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise is “next in line” if progress can’t be made on McCarthy’s bid to lead the House.
Listening to Rep. Buck on CNN, you would certainly agree with the growing consensus that McCarthy’s bid for the speakership is damaged beyond repair. The problem is, Buck basically contradicted all of this in a story last night from CBS4 Denver’s notoriously slanted political reporter Shaun “Furry Panic” Boyd:
Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, says the Republican Party will emerge stronger from a standoff at the nation’s capitol over who should be the next Speaker of the House.
Buck says McCarthy’s opponents aren’t cohesive – some want rule changes, others want policy commitments – and they keep changing their demands.
“You got 20 people dissenting at this point and they have 20 different reasons,” Buck said. “They were voting for Jim Jordan and Jim Jordan was voting for Kevin McCarthy, and that didn’t make sense to anybody. So they nominated Byron Donalds, who was voting for himself, so it made a little bit more sense.”
Buck believes McCarthy will ultimately prevail… [Pols emphasis]
The interview that Buck gave to Shaun Boyd is so far removed from what Buck told CNN that’s it’s almost impossible to believe it was same person talking. We assume this was done for the purpose of giving Buck cover after contributing significantly to McCarthy’s deteriorating position in Buck’s CNN interview. But it takes a shamelessly credulous reporter like Shaun Boyd to write this story knowing–or at least who should have known–what Buck was telling literally everyone else.
As for Ken Buck, never assume he’s telling you anything except what he thinks you want to hear.
Interestingly, Steve Kornacki on MSNBC (of khaki and election analysis fame) pointed out a little while ago that Ken Buck is someone to watch, that he has NOT been voting in alphabetical order but rather when the clerk comes back around at the end to get votes not yet cast by Members Elect. Kornacki noted that Buck has been voting for McCarthy but that if he decides to vote at the time his name is first called, it might be because he is casting his vote differently.
Buck just voted in his alphabetical place – no change (for McCarthy). AND now Donalds has enough votes to prevent McCarthy from becoming speaker on this round.
Whoever of this minority majority clown-car prevails eventually makes me shudder to think that empty suit is third in line to Presidency.
h/t Mike Littwin tweet: