The election for the next speaker of the House is scheduled for Thursday. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah are facing off in their bids to replace Rep. John Boehner as speaker.
But all reporters wanted to talk to McCarthy about on Wednesday was a comment he made last week about the Select Committee on Benghazi.
At the GOP leadership’s weekly press conference Wednesday, Boehner approached the microphone to take the first question, only to be asked to step aside so McCarthy could be asked a question about his recent comments on the Benghazi Committee.
“I still find you newsworthy, but I might have to ask for your colleague,” a reporter told the outgoing speaker.
“Wow, just right away,” Boehner said, stepping aside, as people in the gaggle laughed and groaned.
In an interview with Fox News last week, McCarthy appeared to admit that the Benghazi Committee was created to do political harm to Hillary Clinton, citing her flagging poll numbers as an effect of the committee’s investigation. Clinton’s campaign quickly cut an ad using McCarthy’s comments against him.
McCarthy backpedaled on those comments at the press conference Wednesday.
“Let’s be very clear: Benghazi is not political,” McCarthy said. “It was created for one purpose and one purpose only: to find the truth on behalf of the families of the four dead Americans. Period.”