Kevin McCarthy

By Carolyn Lochhead
September 30, 2015 at 8:40 AM

House Speaker-in-waiting Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield put his foot in his mouth in a big way Tuesday night in an interview with Sean Hannity in which he directly tied the Benghazi hearings — the longest in congressional history — to Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

McCarthy is the current House majority leader and second in command. Leadership elections have been set for Oct. 8. McCarthy faces little opposition because the bloc of about 40 or so Tea Party conservatives, many aligned with the Freedom Caucus, do not have enough votes to win the speakership and instead are vying or leadership spots below McCarthy. McCarthy is considered an establishment Republican with strong conservative credentials, but has not been aligned with the deeply conservative bloc that proved retiring House Speaker John Boehner’s undoing. Hence McCarthy is eager to burnish his credentials with that group.

“What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy (sic) to fight and win,” McCarthy told Hannity.

“And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

“But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

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