At fundraiser, McCarthy says it will 'be hard not to hit' Pelosi with gavel if he becomes speaker

·1 min read
Kevin McCarthy.
Kevin McCarthy. Win McNamee/Getty Images

During a fundraising event in Tennessee on Saturday night, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made a crack about hitting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Main Street Nashville reporter Vivian Jones tweeted audio of McCarthy's comment, and wrote that he made the remark after he was handed an oversized gavel. Referring to Republicans winning the 2022 midterms, McCarthy said, "I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It will be hard not to hit her with it, but I will bang it down."

Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, condemned the remark, tweeting, "A threat of violence to someone who was a target of a #January6th assassination attempt from your fellow Trump supporters is irresponsible and disgusting." Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) called on McCarthy to resign, saying the United States "has suffered enough violence around politics," and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) demanded McCarthy apologize for the remark, tweeting that "violence against women is no laughing matter." A McCarthy spokesperson did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

McCarthy and Pelosi have been at odds over the Jan. 6 select committee and the House mask mandate. Pelosi rejected two of the five House Republicans McCarthy wanted appointed to the panel, which resulted in him saying the other three couldn't participate. After McCarthy criticized the House mask mandate being reinstated, Pelosi told reporters, "He's such a moron."

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