House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.
Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- Stefanik had been backed by Trump and other GOP leaders for the position, but this is McCarthy's first official endorsement.
Flashback: Axios reported last week that McCarthy was caught on a hot mic trashing Cheney, saying he had "had with her."
Thank you @GOPLeader for your endorsement for House GOP Conference Chair.— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 9, 2021
Together, as one team, we will stand up for the American people and #FIREPelosi in 2022. pic.twitter.com/zUhv1h4K71
What they're saying: McCarthy on Sunday said the GOP needs to be "united", and that the chair, who is the third-highest ranking member of the party in the House, should be a messenger for the party.
- "[W]e are in one of our biggest battles ever for this nation and the direction, whether this next century will be ours," McCarthy said.
- “We need a conference chair that is delivering that message day in and day out and uniting the nation,” he added.
- "Yes I do," he said when asked if he supported Stefanik for the position.
Go deeper:Trump's iron grip over the GOP has been institutionalized