Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted President Biden’s staff barbecue that took place at the White House Sunday evening as Israel defends itself against Palestinian terrorist group Hamas attacks.

“To the president, turn off the barbecue and speak to the American people to be the leader the world is looking for,” McCarthy said Monday morning. 

He also called for a “five point plan” for the federal government to support Israel in its defense, with first priority locating and identifying American hostages.

“This administration must also make clear that harming any American will result in the wrath of the United States,” the California Republican said. “We cannot repeat what happened in Afghanistan. It must be clear that we do not negotiate with terrorists and no American will be left behind.”

McCarthy held a press conference on Monday amid the House’s fight for a new speaker as well as the opening days of the bloody war in Israel.


The former speaker also called for the U.S. to “confront Iran” and “resupply Israel,” while he condemned progressive members in the House, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. indirectly for their controversial statements about Israel. 

“As Speaker, I watched a number on the other side of the aisle tried to reserve a building in here to celebrate anti-Semitism,” McCarthy said of Tlaib. 

He added about Omar: “I removed a member from Foreign Affairs based upon anti-Semitism.”

As the House speaker remains vacant, McCarthy jabbed at the eight House GOP members who voted to oust him from speakership last week, along with 208 House Democrats, saying they “made the same political decision instead of putting America fist.” 

“Unfortunately, the House can do nothing,” he said. 

The former speaker’s press conference comes as the House GOP fights to determine the next speaker of the House as the U.S.’s most steadfast ally in the Middle East fights a surprise war.

McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the House last week in a historic first after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., led a mutiny against him with seven other Republicans.

The former speaker has not taken the setback sitting down, opting to remain in his seat and even entertaining the idea floated by other members for him to retake the gavel.

This, though, would be an uphill battle for McCarthy as the House GOP conference splits between two candidates for the gavel and some Republican lawmakers call for an expedited speaker election amid the war in Israel.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are jockeying to take the gavel and succeed McCarthy in the speakership.

However, a potential return for McCarthy should not be written off — especially as moderates float the idea he return to the big chair.