House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy emerged from the closed door GOP conference meeting and acknowledged it was "intense," but added that it was "intense for a purpose."
"There's times we're going to have to argue with our own members, if they're looking out for only positions for themselves, not for the country. For the last two months we worked together as a whole conference to develop rules that empower all members, but we're not empowering certain members over others" he said of his opponents.
Speaking about the list of demands he got last night, McCarthy said, "I was presented the only way to have 218 votes — if I provided certain members with certain positions certain gavels to take over certain committee to have certain budgets. And they even came to the position where one Matt Gaetz said, ‘I don't care if we go to plurality and we elect Hakeem Jeffries,’ and it hurts the new frontline members not to get reelected."
"Well, that's not about America, and I will always fight to put the American people first," McCarthy added. "Not a few individuals that want something for themselves. So we may have a battle on the floor. But the battle is for the conference and the country and that's fine with me."
Pressed on what he will do if it goes to multiple votes McCarthy said, "I have the record for the longest speech ever on the floor. I don't have a problem getting a record for the most votes for speaker."