House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy received a standing ovation Wednesday from the House GOP Conference after he addressed leaked recordings of his comments following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
McCarthy, a California Republican, reportedly told the group that his comments to fellow members of House GOP leadership, including the suggestion that then-President Trump resign if he were to be impeached, were him speculating on various possible scenarios of the riot aftermath.
McCarthy's message, to which members of his party seemed to be receptive, was that conference members cannot get distracted from their so-far successful midterm strategy.
Most members agree that constituents are much more concerned with inflation and the high price of gas than they are with internal GOP squabbling.
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, according to The Hill newspaper, said at the meeting that she hopes McCarthy and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, apologize for some of their comments but that she ultimately agrees that the issue is not what the conference should be channeling energy toward.
"We all need to be accountable for our words," said Greene, a strong Trump supporter who at times has frustrated leadership with her aggressive style of politics. "I've had to do that before. And that we need to apologize when we say something wrong. A lot of this stuff is just drama that the American people don't care about."
The conference's apparently positive reception to McCarthy is being considered a good sign that rank-and-file conference members will still support his effort to become House speaker if Republicans regain control of the chamber in November.