House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy delivers talk in the face of student protest
Last Wedensday, the Georgetown University College Republicans and the Georgetown University Office of Federal Relations hosted a talk delivered by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy, a Republican from California, was at times both insightful and funny in his talk on his career and where he believes America must invest for its future.
Alex Cave, chair of the College Republicans, kicked off the event with a foreboding reminder of Georgetown’s free speech and expression policy. “During both sections of tonight’s program, we ask that you keep in mind Georgetown’s free speech and expression policy, which I will briefly summarize,” Cave said. “Georgetown University is committed to standards promoting speech and expression that causes the maximum exchange of ideas and opinions. While it is recognized that not everyone shares the same views as the speaker, it is expected that everyone in attendance will respect the right of the speaker and the organizing student group […] by not disrupting the event.”
Cave turned things over to Connor McCarthy (COL ’16) to introduce Majority Whip McCarthy. “I’d like to welcome somebody to the stage who has been like a father to me mainly because he is my father,” Connor McCarthy said.
Majority Whip McCarthy began his talk by explaining the early part of his career and his entry into politics. But while McCarthy was explaining how he got his first job in politics, student protesters attempted to enter Reiss 112. “The immigration system tears families apart. Mr. McCarthy, where’s your heart?” they chanted. A small group of students in the audience applauded in support.
Vox could not tell how many protesters there were, but together they were loud enough to interrupt McCarthy for close to a minute. Security barred the protesters from entering and escorted them from Reiss. The protesters did not stop their chant until they were forced out of the building.
After the protesters were removed, McCarthy picked up right where he left off and went into how he helped wrest control over California from the Democrats at a time when the Republican Party was unpopular in the state. McCarthy mentioned how The Weekly Standard called him one of the “young guns of the Republican Party” for his effort in California.
McCarthy’s strategy as Republican Recruitment Chairman in 2010, which he unabashedly terms “the McCarthy Theory,” was to identify incumbent Democratic candidates who were most vulnerable. McCarthy, a superbly analytical thinker, found that incumbents seeking a fifth term were most likely to lose to a Republican upstart.
McCarthy found that fifth term congressmen tend to cut back on communicating with their home districts to pay for more expensive staff members and focus too much of their legislative attention on their special subcommittee that they’ve joined, leaving them aloof from their constituencies.
“When you get to the fifth term, you’re not spending anything on communication with your constituency back home because your staff is eating up all your money and your committee is all you’re talking about in your district,” McCarthy said.
When he wasn’t talking strategy, McCarthy was extremely candid and funny, delving into nearly stand-up routine, at times.
McCarthy told stories about taking Instagram selfies with Supreme Court Justices during the Presidential Inauguration and his strategy on getting good trip presents for his two kids. “I’ll steal anything that’s political memorabilia, because I figure you’re not gonna invite me back, so I’ll take what I can,” McCarthy said, explaining how he took the name plates for the Supreme Court Justices and a Presidential Seal during Inauguration.
McCarthy concluded the story by recounting how he asked Paul Ryan to help him take a picture of Beyonce. “If you won, she wouldn’t be here, right?” McCarthy asked the Republican VP nominee.
Photo: Ryan Greene