Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has dropped out of the race for House Speaker, shocking Capitol Hill and raising questions about who will lead the House Republican Conference.
Republicans were to meet Thursday at noon to elect a new Speaker. Instead, they received the surprising news from McCarthy.
"I think I shocked some of you," McCarthy joked to reporters after his bombshell.
He said he would stay on as majority leader, but believed Republicans needed to unify around a "new face."
"I feel good about the decision. I think we're only going to be stronger," he said.
McCarthy suggested it was unclear whether he could have won the 218 votes on the floor needed to be elected Speaker.
"I don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes," said McCarthy, who cast his decision as putting his conference first. "I think best think for our party is to win with 247 votes."
McCarthy told his colleagues of his decision as they were preparing to cast ballots for Speaker. The election was immediately postponed.
If anyone somehow still needed proof that Republicans are incapable of governance, well there you go. They can't even pick a leader in the House.
It would be sad if it wasn't directly the fault of voters in 2010 and 2014 for giving the House to Republicans in the first place. These guys are idiots, folks. We can change that in 2016, ya know.