Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy is not getting a lot of sympathy from some people in his hometown of Bakersfield, California, as he prepares to quit Congress a year before the end of his term.
McCarthy became Speaker after a lengthy series of votes in January and was forced out by House Republicans in early October.
On Wednesday, he announced he will leave Congress at the end of the month.
In an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, he wrote “I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways. I know my work is only getting started.”
“I will continue to recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office. The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders,” he added.
“If you went through the wringer he went through, I suspect there’s a little humiliation, a little embarrassment. Maybe he’s licking his wounds and wants to go off into the sunset,” Greg Perrone, president of the Greater Bakersfield Republican Assembly, said.
“Still, I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t finish the term that he was elected to serve. That’s not what we expect from our elected leaders.”
That was not as cold as the “McLeavin’” reaction posted to X by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 6, 2023
However, the pages of the local newspaper carried some messages that were hardly in the spirit of fond farewells.
“So long, Kevin McCarthy. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” Raymond Hedrick of Bakersfield wrote in the Bakersfield Californian.
Not only is Kevin McCarthy a Democrat posing as a Republican, but he’s also a quitter. pic.twitter.com/om7Qa0dZmX
— Suhr Majesty ™ (@ULTRA_MAJESTY) December 9, 2023
“So Kevin McCarthy has quit his job to ‘serve America in new ways,’’ Barbara Steward of Bakersfield snarked in a letter to the editor to the newspaper.
“Theoretically, Kevin was elected to represent his constituents here. Theoretically, he was not elected to raise money for Republicans to run in other districts, he was not elected to become Speaker of the House. Theoretically, he was elected to represent the people in his district in California,” she wrote.
“His quitting the job he was elected to do tells you everything about what was important to him and what he saw as his job. It was never about anything but his personal ambition. He achieved that, becoming briefly the Speaker of the House, but now can’t face the job he was actually elected to do, quitting mid-term,” she added.
“Poor Kevin, he might have spent this last year actually trying to accomplish getting some legislation passed that helped his constituents. Might have but has chosen to quit. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Kevin, you haven’t represented us in a very long time,” Steward wrote.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.