OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Texas Rep. Troy Nehls took a swipe at CNN during an appearance on the cable news giant.
He appeared on the network on Thursday when he said it was his “first time on the Clinton News Network.” He was appearing on the network to talk about the ongoing contest for the Speaker of the House role and made the comment as he explained that he did not mean to offend host Erin Burnett when he referred to her as “young lady.”
“And are you — is that — is that a metaphor for how you feel about this? Is your support for Kevin McCarthy — there is nothing that can break or shake it at this point?” the host said.
“Listen, I don’t know if you are aware of, young lady, but I’m also a member of the House Freedom Caucus. So, I am one of those America First patriots. I said to my friends, my colleagues in the Freedom Caucus that I don’t believe that this is the battle we should be waging. I think the real battle starts when we start drafting legislation and policy in the 118th Congress under a Speaker McCarthy,” the representative said.
“And you have to understand, the viewers have to understand, there is 35-40 of us in the house freedom caucus. If we have a simple small thin margin of 222 Republicans, it takes 218 of us to pass any legislation, right? The House Freedom Caucus is more relevant than ever. So I believe that is the battle. Those are the conversations that should take place,” he said.
“Because Kevin McCarthy understands that in order for him to pass anything in this 118th Congress, he’s going to need support and endorsement from the House Freedom Caucus. That’s when I believe we should have these conversations,” he said.
But Burnett focused on the term “young lady” before continuing the interview.
“So, I assume when you called me a young lady, that was a compliment,” she said.
“Of course, it was. This is my first time in the Clinton news network, absolutely,” he said.
“OK. That I was will say was a bit, in my opinion, rude. But I’m glad you’re talking to me and I will treat you with the respect that you deserve,” she said.
Troy Nehls on CNN: “This is my first time on the Clinton News Network.” pic.twitter.com/ssnkB84MBh
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 6, 2023
After the interview got back on track she asked the Congressman how many people he believed were opposing Rep. McCarthy as Speaker.
“Do you believe that there is going to be any sort of a deal that will get those five holdouts? And let me ask you, how many holdouts do you count there are? Are there five? Are there seven? Are there eight?” she said.
“Well, that’s what’s being reported. You know, you have five or so that have said they will never be McCarthy. But we have to understand, too, that Kevin McCarthy has a large majority of the conference. He has their support. There’s 201 or so that support him. Now let’s hypothetically say there’s 160 that are saying nobody else but McCarthy. That’s what I think the four or five have to look at. I mean, majority of the conference supports Kevin McCarthy. He came up with a great plan with the Commitment to America to help secure our southern border, fix the inflation, look at all the crisises we have going on in this country and I believe we have a road map to fix those,” he said.
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday continued to work to convince GOP holdouts to vote for him for Speaker, but those efforts proved fruitless by the end of the day. At one point, the California Republican was seen in what appeared to be a heated exchange with one of them, Republican Rep.-elect Andy Ogles of Tennessee.
Fox News reported that C-SPAN cameras caught McCarthy talking to Ogles on the House floor, likely in an attempt to convince the incoming lawmaker to support his bid for Speaker. Ogles has repeatedly voted against McCarthy and looked to remain unconvinced during their discussion.
“As McCarthy and Ogles go back and forth during the tense conversation, McCarthy appears to become increasingly more animated and frustrated. However, what was said during the exchange remains unclear,” the outlet noted, adding:
McCarthy’s irritation comes after falling short in several rounds of voting for House speaker this week. The California Republican lost the ninth round on Thursday after days of tense negotiations failed to sway any holdouts for the embattled lawmaker.
Since Tuesday, McCarthy has been unsuccessful in securing the 218 votes required to become speaker in [ten] separate roll calls.