Will Kevin McCarthy be forced to quit? GOP leader jokes about hitting Nancy Pelosi with gavel

McCarthy made an appalling joke about hitting Nancy Pelosi over the job of House Speaker and the Internet will not tolerate his 't

                            Will Kevin McCarthy be forced to quit? GOP leader jokes about hitting Nancy Pelosi with gavel
Kevin McCarthy speaks during his weekly news conference on June 25, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has found himself in hot soup after a rather distasteful joke about Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Speaking at a fundraising dinner in Tennessee on July 31, McCarthy seemed pretty confident of taking over as House Speaker, and said, "I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It will be hard not to hit her with it but I will bang it down."

The poor joke, while laughed at by attendees in the room, was not so funny to others. Once again, the Internet ganged up on the leader to slam him for his distasteful words, but it doesn't appear to have concerned McCarthy, who is no stranger to controversy. In February, the Internet trolled him for an 'orange glow' on his face, similar to that of Donald Trump. The comments come amidst a battle between McCarthy and Pelosi, that has been going on for months. 


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The fight escalated recently after Pelosi refused to accept Jim Jordan and Jim Banks onto the House select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection, leading the GOP to walk out. The party believes the "partisan" investigation and sufficient fear of the Covid-19 vaccine will give it the impetus it needs to win the 2022 mid-terms and take back both the House and Senate. However, McCarthy could soon be out of a job, if some Democrats have their way.

Kevin McCarthy stands with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) before she is sworn in during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Will McCarthy be forced to resign?

McCarthy's comments come days after Pelosi dubbed him a "moron" for not supporting mask mandates as Covid-19 cases are on the rise all over the US. For months, the GOP leader has been the target for many Democrats, who have slammed him for "enabling" the insurrection. However, while he was widely condemned for his behavior and words post the events of January 6, there have been few calls for him to resign.

Now though, Democrats are piling on the pressure. Rep Ted Lieu urged McCarthy to apologize or resign, which was echoed by Reps. Eric Swalwell and Jim McGovern. Other Democratic lawmakers like Reps Teresa Leger Fernandez and Debbie Dingell have also slammed McCarthy on social media. Rep. Barbara Lee tweeted, "Kevin McCarthy, who voted against the Violence Against Women Act, is now joking about physically assaulting the Speaker of the House. @HouseGOP leader - I don’t see anything funny about that." Swalwell said, "America has suffered enough violence around politics. @GOPLeader McCarthy is now a would-be assailant of @SpeakerPelosi. He needs to resign."




"Threatening violence against the Speaker of the House is no joke. This is the kind of reckless language that led to a violent insurrection. The @GOPLeader knows his words have consequence. He must apologize. Now," tweeted Rep. Maloney. 


Beyond tweets, it's unclear if Democrats plan any action against McCarthy when they return to Congress. Since Democrats control the House, they should censure him, or issue a formal warning. However, it seems likely they will be able to get him to resign. Since they joined Congress, Reps. Lauren Boebart, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz have all been widely slammed for their comments but faced little action. Neither has been willing to resign, so it seems like a stretch to imagine McCarthy would. Nonetheless, the GOP leader continues to attract widespread condemnation from internet users for his choice of words.  

'McCarthy demonstrably unfit'

"McCarthy is demonstrably unfit to hold the title of Speaker of The House. #Misogyny," one person tweeted. Another said, "What kind of @GOPLeader threatens the Speaker of the House with bodily harm?" Journalist Scott Dworkin said, "Who else thinks Kevin McCarthy must resign for “joking” about assaulting Speaker Pelosi?"





"It’s really disgusting that no Republican has the testicular fortitude to condemn Kevin McCarthy’s joke of violent attacks on Speaker Nancy Pelosi," one person slammed. Another said, "McCarthy’s gavel comment was just his way of validating Pelosi’s claim that he’s a moron. Credit where credit is due." One user tweeted, "Kevin McCarthy can voice his thuggish wish to hit Nancy Pelosi over her head with the Speaker's gavel to a bunch of giggling, misogynistic Republican men, but McCarthy doesn't have the balls to make that threat to her face."





Reportedly, after McCarthy's comments, attendees at the Tennessee dinner handed him a large gavel, with which he was seen posing for a photo. While Democrats have chosen to condemn his threat of violence, Republicans have so far maintained a strong silence. No prominent GOP congress members have come out to defend McCarthy, and the leader himself has not offered an explanation or apology.