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Former California House Speaker’s ally ‘launches public attack’ against GOP members who ousted McCarthy

Florida House Rep. Matt Gaetz was the one who initiated the ousting of former California House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last year, something that still bothers the former Speaker and many other prominent Republicans who think that McCarthy did a great job while holding the speakership role. Speaking to CBS News recently, McCarthy said that he paid the price for refusing “to do something illegal,”  a request that allegedly came directly from Gaetz.

Speaker Mike Johnson is facing similar problem

After McCarthy was ousted from the position, the U.S. House of Representatives elected Mike Johnson of Louisiana as Speaker after three weeks of a leadership crisis. Months later, Johnson is facing similar problems as McCarthy since Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to oust him as speaker. Johnson last weekend met Donald Trump in Florida and claimed that the former president fully supported his job, but his future in the House still remains uncertain, as Greene recently said that GOP support for her motion to vacate Johnson is growing.

McCarthy strikes back

The Republican Party in the House has been highly divided in recent years. With more moderate House members on one side of the spectrum and those further to the right on the other, McCarthy managed to hold the speakership role for only 269 days. But McCarthy’s ousting didn’t really help the Republicans get along better. Those who voted to oust the former speaker are now facing a brutal reality after an outside group with ties to a McCarthy ally launches new ads targeting them over border security funding.

Aggressive ad campaign

The American Prosperity Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group, has invested almost $700,000 in advertisements aimed at Republican Representatives Nancy Mace from South Carolina, Bob Good from Virginia, and Eli Crane from Arizona, as tracked by the firm AdImpact. Additionally, the group has spent over $90,000 on ads targeting Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who is considered a key target in the general election by the GOP. Established in 2022, the Alliance revealed on Wednesday a campaign aimed at Congressional members who previously voted against increasing border security funding, as stated in a press release.

Read also: Huge blow for Biden, Dems in Texas: Trump has double-digit lead among Hispanic voters

Outside group with ties to a former House Speaker McCarthy ally launches new ads targeting them over border security funding.
Kevin McCarthy, credit: McCarthy, X official

Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Bob Good of Virginia in the focus

The campaign includes two specific ads against Good and Mace, accusing them of voting against funding for border security, rejecting billions in funding for ICE, millions for new technology, and the addition of thousands of new border agents. These ads reference their votes on a major government spending bill, which was also opposed by 112 other House Republicans. Brian O. Walsh, a Republican strategist and senior adviser to the American Prosperity Alliance, is known to be closely associated with Kevin McCarthy of California. Despite Walsh’s comments to NBC News clarifying that he does not represent McCarthy, it seems unlikely that McCarthy is not connected to the campaign.

Time for a payback

As a nonprofit, the group is not required to reveal its donors, and whether McCarthy is specifically involved in this campaign remains uncertain. Although the term “revenge tour” was not used directly by allies discussing McCarthy’s actions against former colleagues who played a role in removing him, a source knowledgeable about the group’s strategy mentioned that McCarthy has been supportive of challengers against some GOP incumbents. However, this support was described not so much as active recruitment but rather backing candidates who had independently decided to run. While the full extent of McCarthy’s involvement is not completely transparent, he indicated in October that he might engage against some of the lawmakers who thwarted his bid for the speakership.

Read also: Trump spokesperson says ‘he has never been in a stronger position to win’ after Pennsylvania rally

Tight races

In tight primary races, Mace, Good, and Crane all face serious contenders. Crane is up against former Yavapai County Supervisor Jack Smith in Arizona, while Good is challenged by state Senator John McGuire in Virginia. Additionally, Good has drawn some criticism from those close to former President Donald Trump for his endorsement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the upcoming 2024 presidential primaries.

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