SC's Nancy Mace says 'we are not' traitors after 8 Republicans vote to boot McCarthy
U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace on Wednesday rejected those who have labeled her and seven other House Republicans "traitors" after the group of eight backed a measure firing now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The California Republican was ousted Tuesday by a 216-210 vote after Mace joined seven hardline conservatives on what's called a "motion to vacate" resolution.
The move was spearheaded by vocal McCarthy critic, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, and supported by all House Democrats who voted as a bloc.
It was the first time a House speaker had been removed in U.S. history.
"I would encourage anyone to look up the word traitor in the dictionary. We are not. Not at all. That would be when you sell out your country," Mace told S.C. reporters in a video call Wednesday. "And what we have done is support the people over party and support our country more than anything else today."
In a late Tuesday appearance on Fox News, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the group of eight "traitors," and said they should all face a primary in 2024.
Mace told S.C. reporters that leadership only tried whipping her support just before the vote, when, she said, they realized they didn't have enough votes to protect McCarthy.
Mace said she had been leaning toward supporting the "motion to vacate" for weeks, frustrated with the budget debate and a lack of what she said were "promises not kept."
"And, in fact, leadership was calling my staff rather than calling me, which was also outrageous and ridiculous. They all have my number," Mace said.
Mace also defended a fundraising message she sent out after the vote.
"I am absolutely going to fundraise when I'm going to be under attack by the establishment," she said. "That's not OK."
As recent as last year, McCarthy helped Mace fundraise for her House bid.
Though Mace said she was "grateful" that McCarthy came to the 1st District to help her campaign, she added, "I made all those phone calls."
Late Tuesday, McCarthy called Mace "a whole nother story."
"I called Nancy Mace's chief of staff yesterday (Monday), ... I just said to him, 'Can you please tell me? I don't understand where have I not kept my word,'" McCarthy said. "You know what her chief of staff said? 'You have kept your word, 100%.'"
If her chief of staff gets fired, McCarthy said he'll give him a job.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry is now interim speaker until the chamber elects someone permanent .
Mace said she and Jordan had a "very productive" meeting about his bid.
She also plans to meet with Scalise.
"Giving us a new speaker who will be honest with the American people, ... is better for the country overall, no matter your political affiliation," Mace said. "You can't give ... different promises to both sides of the aisle and call that leadership."