Representative Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), fresh off his election to House majority leader this week following Eric Cantor’s unexpected loss to David Brat, defended his conservative bona fides in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
Wallace asked him how he’d respond to tea-party supporters who see him as a Washington insider who’s in politics to go along and get along. “I’m a conservative. I believe in the idea of freedom and liberty, but more importantly look at my voting background,” McCarthy said, citing his opposition to tax increases and Wall Street bailouts. “I come from the grassroots.”
“You’re generally seen as less conservative than the man you’re replacing,” Wallace pushed back, citing the fact that the Club for Growth rated Cantor as more conservative.
“Check my voting record, check what I believe, and look at what I’ve done,” McCarthy responded.
Wallace quizzed McCarthy on his views on a number of issues, including whether he favored comprehensive immigration reform with a path to legalization. McCarthy was adamant that enforcing current law and securing the border must precede any other steps in addressing the issue.
“Until you secure the borders, you cannot have a conversation about anything else,” he said.