Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was chased down by his colleague Tim Burchett (R-TN) after the former Speaker shoved him with a “clean” elbow “shot to the kidneys.”
The wild scene unfolded right in front of NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales, who described what took place in great detail in a thread posted to the X social media platform.
Grisales claimed that Burchett was “shoved” by McCarthy with such force that the former “lunged towards” and almost into her.
The Tennessee lawmaker’s back was to McCarthy when it occurred, meaning he had no way to anticipate what was going to happen.
Grisales said she initially thought the incident was a joke, but quickly realized it was serious when Burchett turned to her and referred to the ex-Speaker as a “jerk.”
“That’s when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail,” she wrote.
RELATED: Republican Claims Kevin McCarthy Mocked Him For Praying Over Decision, So He Voted To Oust Him As Speaker
Burchett Confronts McCarthy After He Gets Hit With An Elbow
“Hey Kevin, why’d you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?” he yelled, according to Grisales’ account.
But McCarthy denied that he had done anything wrong, countering, “I didn’t elbow you in the back.”
“You got no guts,” Burchett replied before reminding McCarthy that there were witnesses. “You did so … the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that?”
Burchett went on to describe the former Speaker as “pathetic” and suggested that he’s going to “need security.”
Burchett con’t: “You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that? You’re pathetic man, you are so pathetic.”
Burchett starts to walk away from McCarthy, tells me, “What a jerk,” and then yells back, “You need security Kevin!”
— Claudia Grisales (@cgrisales) November 14, 2023
Burchett later told CNN reporter Manu Raju that McCarthy was a “bully” for delivering a “clean shot to the kidneys” when he wasn’t expecting it.
“He’s a bully with $17 million and a security detail,” Burchett said. “He is the type of guy that when you are a kid, he would throw the rock over the fence and run home (and) hide behind his mama’s skirt.”
McCarthy Allegedly Mocked Burchett’s Religion
Burchett and McCarthy have had some bad blood ever since a vote was held that ultimately led to the latter’s ouster as Speaker.
Burchett claimed that he felt torn between keeping his “friendship” with McCarthy intact or siding with his “conscience.”
“I said I would be praying about it. And I do, I ask God for wisdom,” he explained at the time, something that apparently did not sit well with the California lawmaker.
Burchett claims that McCarthy said “something condescending about my religious beliefs” during a phone conversation, something that was “the first thing out of his mouth.”
McCarthy mocking his religion is what Burchett claims ultimately led him to join the eight Republicans who voted for the former Speaker’s removal.
“But when someone mocks me like that and mocks my religion, honestly, the bible is pretty clear about God being mocked, so that’s what sealed it right there for me,” he stated. “I said, this is not the quality or the character of person that I want as speaker of the United States.”
Mocking someone’s religion and elbowing them from behind is practically a textbook case of being a “bully.”
But if McCarthy thinks he’s a tough guy, he might want to reconsider. You may recall that over the summer, McCarthy reportedly threatened Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) after the Democrat lawmaker called him a “weak man.”
Swalwell allegedly escalated matters by calling McCarthy a “p***y.”
“Call me a p***y again, and I’ll kick your a**,” he told Swalwell to which the Democrat replied: “You. Are. A. P***y.”
“After both men stared each other down for another moment, McCarthy eventually relented,” the Daily Beast reported at the time. “He stepped to the side and let Swalwell through to the bathroom — without kicking his a**.”
McCarthy confronts Swalwell the day after Swalwell said, “You’re a weak man”
McCarthy, “If you ever say something like that to me again, I’m gonna kick the shit out of you.”
Swalwell responded, telling McCarthy, “You. Are. A. Pussy.”
McCarthy walked away. pic.twitter.com/aaYpAVYIHA
— Chris Weedon (@topherjk) July 29, 2023
As Burchett said, he ran home to “hide behind his mama’s skirt.”
In what amounts to a classic metaphor of modern Republican leadership, the former House Speaker was unable to take a stand against a Democrat privately in a congressional bathroom, but was surely willing to start a physical altercation with somebody in his own party in front of the media.
Always willing to fight their own, never willing to fight the actual enemy.
Swalwell was right.