Exclusive — Kevin McCarthy Details GOP Plan to Retake House Majority: 31 Democrats Sit in Districts Donald Trump Won
Republicans only need to net win back 20 seats from Democrats to retake their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy broke down the GOP plan to do just that in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News that aired Saturday morning.
The one-hour-long in-studio exclusive interview which aired on Breitbart News Saturday and will air again on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, is the first and most comprehensive the House’s leading Republican has given detailing such plans by the GOP.
In addition to the political focus in this interview, McCarthy also discussed immigration policy and tech policy with Breitbart News. McCarthy laid out the numbers that Republicans need to hit to win back their majority in 2020 alongside President Donald Trump’s efforts to win re-election.
“There are 31 seats that Democrats sit in today that President Trump carried,” McCarthy said. “Of those 31, 13 of them President Trump carried by more than six points. So, here you have the socialist wing of the party trying to take them further left, when the only way they have the majority is actually winning in Republican areas—areas that would be swing districts.”
Currently, Republicans hold 198 seats in the House. A majority in the House is 218 seats. So, if Republicans take back those 13 seats from Democrats in districts that Trump won by more than six percent, and seven more from the remaining 18 districts that Democrats represent that Trump won—while holding what they currently have—or find some other way to net gain 20 seats, they can retake the majority in 2020.
The 13 districts currently represented by Democrats that Trump won by more than six percent are as follows: Minnesota’s 7th district, New York’s 22nd, Oklahoma’s 5th, South Carolina’s 1st, Maine’s 2nd, New Mexico’s 2nd, New York’s 11th, Pennsylvania’s 8th, New York’s 19th, Michigan’s 8th, Utah’s 4th, Virginia’s 7th, and New Jersey’s 3rd.
The other 18 districts currently represented by Democrats in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton include: New Jersey’s 2nd, Wisconsin’s 3rd, Michigan’s 11th, Iowa’s 2nd, Illinois’ 14th, Iowa’s 1st, Iowa’s 3rd, Virginia’s 2nd, Pennsylvania’s 17th, New York’s 18th, New Hampshire’s 1st, Georgia’s 6th, Minnesota’s 2nd, Arizona’s 1st, New Jersey’s 5th, Nevada’s 3rd, New Jersey’s 11th, and Illinois’ 17th.
Republicans had a 23-seat majority before the 2018 midterms, but Democrats ended up netting a 40-seat swing in the House in the November elections. Part of what led to this, McCarthy noted, was a surge in GOP retirements. A whopping 41 Republicans, which is less than the number of seats the Democrats gained, retired before the midterms. Democrats also had a midterm election cycle on their side, something that historically favors the party out of power, in addition to financial advantages. In addition, McCarthy noted, redistricting efforts in Pennsylvania and election law changes in Maine—among other such factors—contributed to the Democrats taking the House back for the first time in eight years.
“So if you sit back and you look at the last election, there’s not one reason why the Republicans lost the majority but there are a couple,” McCarthy explained on the Breitbart News radio special. “The first one being history, meaning that historically whichever party wins the White House, that party normally loses an average of 30 seats in the off-year election. Barack Obama lost 63. Twenty-three seats was our majority, so just history would beat us. We had more retirements than ever, the most of Republicans—41—in a year; that was a bad year for us. The Democrats had $250 million more dollars than us, and the other thing the Democrats did is they sued and had redistricting done in a partisan way in Pennsylvania so they got three seats to start up with. They changed the election law in Maine. In Maine, you don’t vote for one person —there’s only two congressional seats—what you do is you rank them. So if someone doesn’t get to 50 percent, the ranking actually pulls somebody else up. Bruce Poliquin, who was the congressman, got the most votes but is not the member of Congress from Maine anymore. It’s changing these types of things. Democrats turned out with a higher number. All the Republican vote, and all the Democrat vote, Democrats turned out eight percent higher. But if you look at those 74 seats that make up the swing of a majority in Congress, these are the 74 seats that Charlie Cook identifies, the difference between Republican vote and Democrat vote is one percent. The difference between myself serving in the minority and serving in the majority is less than 107,000 votes.”
There are several GOP retirements heading into 2020, as well, but nowhere near the numbers as in 2018. Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), Martha Roby (R-AL), Pete Olson (R-TX), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Susan Brooks (R-IN), and Mike Conaway (R-TX) have announced planned retirements. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan left the GOP earlier this year, becoming an “independent.”
But, McCarthy says that the House is in play in 2020 because of the numbers, because the president is on the ballot again this time, and because of what is happening inside the Democrat majority’s conference. McCarthy made the point that the Democrats’ highest priority legislation, H.R. 1, would tax Americans to fund Democrat campaigns with federal dollars, a point that a vicious new ad campaign from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) that Breitbart News reported exclusively earlier this week targeting several vulnerable Democrats also exposes.
“Look at what the policies this new socialist Democrat party is doing,” McCarthy said. “They want to one, their first most important bill—when you become the majority, you reserve the first ten numbers for your most important bills—so their most important bill, H.R. 1, was to take your taxpayer money and give it to their campaigns. Literally, tax the American public and give them thousands of dollars for their own campaigns. Then they have what is called Medicare for None. Medicare for None would take 180 million people’s healthcare away while at the same time bankrupt those who are currently on Medicare. It’s more government control. That’s what I really believe this future election will be about: Socialism versus freedom. Control versus freedom. They just want greater control over our lives.”
What’s more, in addition to the leftist socialist drift that the so-called “Squad” of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is leading as they take over the Democrat Party, McCarthy says the Democrats, including those who represent these red districts, have no real accomplishments to point to after seven months of being in the majority.
“That’s why they have an internal fight going on,” McCarthy said. “They haven’t accomplished anything. Even in fact you had Congresswoman AOC’s own chief of staff put a tweet out challenging any Democratic voter to name one thing the Democratic majority in the House accomplished for the kitchen table, then went on to question this ‘legislative genius’—referring to Speaker Pelosi.”
The Democrats have done nothing for an infrastructure deal. They have done nothing to help Americans’ healthcare. They have done nothing on paid family leave, which has broad bipartisan support. They have done nothing to help working Americans in any respect on anything, McCarthy noted, instead focusing their efforts on partisan bickering, meaningless resolutions like the ones calling Trump a “racist” or failing to rebuke Ilhan Omar’s antisemitism, all while mucking up actual bipartisan policy solutions with radical leftist socialism. All of these are typical GOP talking points about the left and Democrats, but McCarthy has a real point: There is not even a single one big picture accomplishment Democrats can point to since they took the majority, and it is unlikely they will get anything done before the 2020 elections given that they are out for a six-week August recess now and return for a short fall legislative session before the holidays and the end of the year.
At the beginning of 2020, with presidential politics kicking off as the Democrats hit primaries and caucuses nationwide, it is unlikely any major solutions will make it through from there until after the 2020 election—so Republicans can legitimately claim Democrats have done nothing since taking office. And McCarthy is certainly drilling that point home, even suggesting it appears they are deliberately choosing failure for political reasons.
“They don’t have anything accomplished,” McCarthy said. “If you watch even what they’re doing on the floor today, it is less productive than in modern times for our Congress. They’re doing more resolutions and not legislation. Even when committees did the work, like when Energy and Commerce had three bills up to lower drug pricing—something that Republicans really want to achieve—we came to a bipartisan consensus where all Democrats and all Republicans voted for those three bills where it would lower drug prices. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker, and the Democratic leadership, before those bills came to the floor, put a poison pill in it—changed it—and that’s what’s happening, that’s why they’re not being successful either. Even when there’s opportunities to have success, they can’t. They got to continue to put partisanship in there. It’s almost like they don’t want to be successful.”
McCarthy said that based off his conversations with Pelosi and other Democrats, he considers them to have abandoned the core principles of their party for this new rising leftist socialism.
“I have told the Speaker many times, she will sit when we are trying to come to an agreement. Remember, our government is designed to have compromise. No one person can get 100 percent of what they want. You’ve got the House, the Senate, and then you’ve got the executive branch. Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats—to me, they’re no longer Democrats,” McCarthy said. “They don’t call themselves Democrats. They’re socialist Democrats. I think this internal fight is where they want that socialist wing to take over. That’s why they can’t come to a consensus. It’s why they can’t do anything with Homeland. You have a congresswoman who says they should abolish the Homeland, Homeland Security. Think about what is in there. That is Secret Service, FEMA, that’s other things. At any other given time, this country would be in an uproar if an elected body said that. But what’s come to the body today is socialism. That’s the strife what’s inside this past Democratic party, they’re not what they used to be.”
Another example he cited was how the Democrats have turned the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process into a partisan political football for the first time in decades.
“I’ll give you another example, back in July we had what was is called the NDAA—the National Defense Authorization Act—now this is the most bipartisan bill we deal with,” McCarthy said. “It’s the authorization for our military, what we’re going to be for the future, where we’re going, everything else. They really kept it where troops come first, politics last. For 58 years, Democrats have either been in control—Republicans, then Democrats, then Republicans—despite all the changes in party power this has always been bipartisan. This was the first year it was not. The only bipartisan vote was against it. Some Democrats voted against it, some Republicans, and the one independent. They made it partisan when it didn’t have to be, and that was the socialist wing of their party. Normally, like if I go back in the last Congress and look at the NDAA bill the National Defense Authorization, when Republicans were in the majority, do you know who had the most amendments on the floor? Democrats, then the minority party. When it came to the Democrats’ own majority this time, you know who had the most? Overwhelmingly, Democrats. It was only like 16 percent were Republican amendments. So they wanted to go much further left. But if you go look at the Senate side, their National Defense Authorization Act passed with 86 votes. Schumer, Sen. Schumer, voted for it and so did McConnell. They really kept that tradition of bipartisanship. So it really comes down to one common denominator: Inside the majority of the House, this new socialist Democratic party doesn’t want to work with anybody and wants to impose something much different than we have imposed in the past. Remember, we had this whole position on NDAA that we would not allow these terrorists that are kept in GITMO to America. In the new socialist one, they’re going to want to bring these terrorists to put them into the homeland, but then you have a Democratic congresswoman who wants to eliminate the Department of Homeland [Security]. It’s outrageous that this is even going on.”
Fundraising for Republicans is on the upswing as well, as McCarthy has picked up a lot of slack that former House Speaker Paul Ryan—one of the GOP’s 41 retirements last cycle—left behind. McCarthy, according to numbers released in early July, raised a record $33.7 million for Republicans this year so far—a number that has certainly increased since then—as compared with Ryan’s paltry numbers in the 2018 cycle.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is a far superior leader than was Lame Duck Speaker Paul Ryan. Tougher, smarter and a far better fundraiser, Kevin is already closing in on 44 Million Dollars. Paul’s final year numbers were, according to Breitbart, “abysmal.” People like…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2019
….Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party. Weak, ineffective & stupid are not exactly the qualities that Republicans, or the CITIZENS of our Country, were looking for. Right now our spirit is at an all time high, far better than the Radical Left Dems. You’ll see next year!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2019
McCarthy noted that part of why the GOP is surging in fundraising is not just what he is doing, but what other members—including those recruiting candidates—are doing. What’s more, he added, recruiting is ahead of schedule in many place, as Republicans have candidates, like Wesley Hunt in Texas’s Houston area and Nicole Malliotakis on New York’s Staten Island and Young Kim in California, putting them in prime position to take back several of these districts.
“I’m putting a lot of effort in, as well as a lot of people,” McCarthy said on the Breitbart News radio special. “Tom Emmer has done a lot—an amazing job. We have a recruitment team, more than 12 members that are out there. I’ll give you some of the demographics of the individuals we’ve recruited out there across the country. Fifty-one percent happen to be female, 40 percent are minorities, 20 percent are veterans. I’ve been able to raise more than $33 million, just myself, on that basis. That’s in the minority. What’s happening here is America is waking up. They’re seeing what’s coming at them, the socialism and the control of what they [the left] want to take over. But look at the individuals who are running. We got this individual I met, his name is Wesley Hunt—he’s running in Houston. This is a seat that we used to have. It’s a Republican seat. Wesley Hunt is a graduate of West Point. He flew Apaches for more than a decade. He’s married and has his first young daughter. He defended these freedoms and says, ‘if I defended these freedoms in other parts of the world to make sure they were safe, when I see them coming up today and I see America changing before my eyes I can’t stand by and say I did nothing.’ You look at Nicole [Malliotakis] up in Staten Island. It’s a seat that President Trump carries. She ran for mayor against de Blasio. She carried this district by 67 percent [in the mayoral election]. There are a number of people across this country—Young Kim, born in South Korea, understanding what it means for the American dream running in California, a great opportunity. We have people across this country that I really believe are waking up and want to have this debate. “We are further along in candidate recruitment than we’ve been in the past, yes.”
President Trump being on the ballot again is a huge boon for Republicans, too, McCarthy said. He noted that when Trump was on the ballot in 2016, Republicans held their majority. But when Trump was not on the ballot in 2018, Republicans lost it—so he feels like the GOP gets a boost from having Trump at the top of the ticket. That being said, though, McCarthy also noted that each race is individual in nature, and candidate recruitment is imperative—and whoever wins the Democrat nomination for president will also factor into the equation.
“When President Trump first ran for president, he won the presidency and we kept the majority,” McCarthy said. “When President Trump wasn’t on the ballot, we lost the majority. Will it be helpful, yeah. But everyone runs on their own at the same time. So that ability to be able to expand the base comes into the quality of the candidates, the recruitment, and others. We’ll get to that point. Now, who’s going to be the Democrat nominee will matter a great deal. The first thing you have to do is not think about which Democrat is running. Think about the process in how they elect somebody, because it’s not the same as it was four years ago. They eliminated the super delegates on the first round. The super delegate is really the Democratic insurance policy that those on the left decide who the nominee is, that’s why Bernie Sanders couldn’t win last time but now he has an opening. There’s no longer any states that are winner-take-all. So it’s a different game in the process. They focus more on ‘you got to have online ability to raise money.’ I was impressed with the amount of money last quarter that Elizabeth Warren was able to raise because she hasn’t done a fundraiser—so she’s got stability. I’m not one—now, I could be wrong. Anyone who tells you that they know who the nominee is going to be, they’re wrong—because at any given time somebody could become that nominee.”
The full interview with McCarthy aired on Breitbart News Saturday and will air again on Breitbart News Sunday, both programs on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel. Breitbart News Saturday airs from 10:00 a.m. ET to 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturdays, and Breitbart News Sunday airs from 7:00 p.m. ET to 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday evenings.