Speed Reads

GOP in disarray

GOP's Kevin McCarthy tries, fails to end epic feud between Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Nancy Mace

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tried unsuccessfully Tuesday night to end an ugly feud that broke out Sunday between two freshman members of his caucus, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). After separate meetings with McCarthy, Greene said she "agreed that I'd quit attacking" Mace, then said she hoped Mace gets a Republican primary challenger. 

Mace told reporters: "All I can say about Marjorie Taylor Greene is bless her f--king heart." 

The feud between Greene, representing the House GOP's far-right flank, and Mace, considered a moderate, broke out after Mace criticized Rep. Lauren Boebert's (R-Colo.) "racist tropes" and "disgusting" remarks aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Greene called Mace "trash" on Twitter, and Mace hit back.

Mace also used "a series of emojis — a bat, a pile of excrement, and a crazy clown" — to describe Greene, The New York Times notes, and fellow moderate Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) tagged in, calling Greene "the unserious circus barker McSpacelaser" and criticizing McCarthy for a "silent streak that would make a monk blush." Greene responded by playing the Trump card, prompting Mace to mock Greene for "running to the principle's [sic] office to tattletale because she can't stand on her own two feet."

Greene's supporters included Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who retweeted right-wing provocateur Jack Posobiec dismissing Mace as a "scam artist" for promoting vaccinations on CNN (though she delivered a different message the same day on Fox News).

Greene told Steve Bannon on his podcast that Republican leaders are "always all over us whenever we say or do anything, but it's the Nancy Maces that should be called out." Mace explained to Fox News Radio host Guy Benson on Tuesday she's feuding with Greene because "she's a grifter, she lies to grift," and "she is pulling the wool over so many eyes, so many vulnerable people." Greene, she added, "hasn't done a damn thing since she got into office."

All this "carnival-like behavior would amount to little more than a sideshow if it did not have real implications for midterm campaigns and, possibly, a fractured Republican majority in 2023," the Times reports. Republicans have the wind at their backs, but if they win a narrow House majority in 2022, McCarthy will need both factions — the Greenes and the Maces — to win the speakership, a prize he has coveted for over a decade.