Republican infighting is so bad that lawmakers are getting into physical altercations in the halls of Congress.
NPR reporter Claudia Grisales tweeted Tuesday that while she was talking to Representative Tim Burchett after the Republican conference meeting, Kevin McCarthy walked past. As he walked behind Burchett, McCarthy shoved the Tennessee lawmaker, forcing him to lunge forward.
Grisales noted that she has “NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill” and said that both she and Burchett were stunned. Burchett called McCarthy a “jerk” and said he had never done anything like that before, before chasing after the former House speaker.
Burchett told Grisales it was his first interaction with McCarthy since voting to oust the California lawmaker as speaker. Burchett called McCarthy a “jerk” several more times and also called him “childish.”
“He’s on a downhill spiral,” Burchett said. “That was pretty gutless of him. I’m disappointed in him.”
Burchett was one of eight Republicans who voted in early October to boot McCarthy from the speakership. Tension was already running high within the GOP, and vacating the speaker clearly did nothing to improve intraparty relationships.
Ironically, Burchett had warned in July that “a fistfight could break out at any moment.”
He told The Daily Beast that, as a fan of professional wrestling, “it’s entertaining to think that a fistfight could break out at any movement. I kind of dig that.”
At the time, Burchett was talking about tension between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. But it looks like he still got his wish, in a way.