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House GOP Leader: Democratic Party should change its name given its ties to the Confederacy

McCarthy also says the Democrats should change Biden as the 2020 nominee, given his past praise for the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK

Published: June 18, 2020 12:42pm

Updated: June 18, 2020 3:50pm

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy suggested Thursday that the Democratic Party change its name, considering its ties to the Confederacy and segregation laws.

The comments by McCarthy, the chamber's top Republican, follow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she wants to remove Confederate-era statues from the Capitol, most of which honor registered Democrats.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, on Thursday announced the removal of four portraits of former House speakers – three Democrats and one a Whig who later registered as a Democratic.

"The speaker has the power to do that," McCarthy said when asked about the portrait removal. "If the speaker is concerned about that, should she also start talking about changing the name of her party and actually changing the nominee?"

The California Republican also said that Pelosi should be "really concerned about the history of her party and what her party has done so shouldn't they change the name if they're going to be different?"

McCarthy went further and said the Democrats should consider changing Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential nominee, given his remarks at the funeral of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.), a former member of the KKK who later denounced the group.

Biden referred to Byrd as a "mentor" and "dear friend" at his funeral when he was vice president.

McCarthy called on Pelosi to apply the "same standards" for the portrait removals to the name of her party and its 2020 nominee.

"Shouldn't they change the nominee if they want to be different?" McCarthy asked.

McCarthy said he's "very proud" of the history of the Republican Party, citing the successes of former President Abraham Lincoln.

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