With a little over a year before the 2022 midterms, Republican lawmakers are hoping to secure a congressional majority to hinder President Joe Biden's legislative agenda for the last two years of his first term.
The pair's mutual disdain is well-documented. Most recently, Speaker Pelosi rejected two of McCarthy's Republican appointments to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol Riots of January 6. Enraged by the move, Minority Leader McCarthy pulled all five of his appointments to the committee before decrying it as partisan.
Now, McCarthy's recent comments in response to a gift bestowed on him by the Tennessee Republican Party at its recent Statesmen's Dinner are making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The gift was an oversized gavel, signaling the GOP's hope that McCarthy will become Speaker if the Republicans secure a majority in the House of Representatives.
The Minority Leader joked about hitting Pelosi with the instrument.
Here’s audio of @GOPLeader’s comment on @SpeakerPelosi: https://t.co/tSmcteVcdk https://t.co/yLC4lzGEVV— Vivian Jones (@Vivian Jones) 1627783194.0
"I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It'll be hard not to hit her with it."
The Minority Leader's attempt at a joke comes just months after a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol, beating police officers, calling for the execution of any lawmaker they perceived as disloyal to Trump, and erecting a gallows outside.
McCarthy's wisecrack enraged social media users.
After the political violence of January 6th where @SpeakerPelosi was targeted, this behavior is intolerable. Kevin… https://t.co/FTgXICGF87— David Cicilline (@David Cicilline) 1627785074.0
Wow. Every time I think they can’t fall further. https://t.co/3NJMcvIT06— Helen Kennedy (@Helen Kennedy) 1627793103.0
Why are you advocating violence towards women @GOPLeader?? https://t.co/OTfX74BCrK— Lauren Windsor (@Lauren Windsor) 1627830410.0
They were even more disgusted to hear the comment be met with applause.
Scary: that a politician feels free to talk about hitting the first female Speaker with the gavel Scarier: crowd re… https://t.co/J17Erpd36j— Danielle Kurtzleben (@Danielle Kurtzleben) 1627854950.0
DESPICABLE: Listen to 1400 Republicans in Tennessee cheer Kevin McCarthy "joking" about hitting Nancy Pelosi: https://t.co/kB8W2p8ucc— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah)))) 1627821999.0
Really jarring to hear the cheers for a man saying it will be hard to resist hitting a woman. https://t.co/5zSVW5oZOn— Kristin Wilson (@Kristin Wilson) 1627829025.0
McCarthy has yet to apologize.