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McCarthy sidesteps question on Speaker Johnson's leadership during Capitol Hill visit

PoliticsMcCarthy sidesteps question on Speaker Johnson's leadership during Capitol Hill visit

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Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., offered mild praise for his successor on Tuesday during a rare appearance back on Capitol Hill.

McCarthy told Fox News Digital he was in Washington for Monday night’s swearing-in of his former aide, newly minted Rep. Vince Fong, R-Calif., who won a tight race to replace him. 

McCarthy said he was also there for a press conference commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. 

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Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Fox News Digital briefly spoke with ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy during a rare appearance on Capitol Hill. (Elizabeth Elkind/Fox News Digital)

When asked by another reporter whether he thought Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., was doing a “good job,” McCarthy said, “Johnson is working as hard as he can.”

McCarthy became the first House speaker in history to be ousted in the middle of a congressional term last October, when a group of eight House Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to remove him from power. He left Congress at the end of 2023.

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Mike Johnson and Kevin McCarthy

Speaker Mike Johnson, left, was elected as Kevin McCarthy’s successor. (Getty Images)

Johnson was elected via a unanimous House GOP vote three weeks later after days of chaos and turmoil that paralyzed Congress.

The Louisiana Republican survived a similar threat just last month in a push led by two of McCarthy’s top allies in the House, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky.

In that instance, dozens of Democrats joined Republicans to table Greene’s measure, known as a motion to vacate, which averted a House-wide vote on the ouster itself.

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Massie and Greene in front of a photo of Johnson hugging Jeffries

Johnson survived an ouster threat by McCarthy allies, Reps. Thomas Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene. (Getty Images)

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McCarthy appeared to take an indirect shot at Johnson over the bipartisan vote last month during an appearance on Politico’s “Power Play” podcast.

“I couldn’t live with myself if I’d done a deal with Democrats,” McCarthy had said. “If you can’t sustain being speaker by your own majority, should you sustain it? No.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Johnson’s office for comment.

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