House Republicans need a conservative leader, not another milquetoast squish like Kevin McCarthy

Raul Labrador

It appears that the House Republican Conference has learned nothing from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning defeat on Tuesday. Roll Call reports today that Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may have enough support to replace Cantor, who will step down on July 31.

McCarthy isn’t an improvement over Cantor. If a majority of the House Republican Conference pick him, it will be an endorsement of the status quo — unprincipled, milquetoast leadership that, more often than not, ignores the grassroots.

Sure, Republicans talk a good game on the campaign trail. They say they believe in limited government and freedom on the stump. But when they get back to Washington, they kowtow to K Street. Suddenly, as Stephen Slivinski once said, they no longer look at the nation’s capital as a cesspool, but treat it like a jacuzzi.

There is, however, an alternative to McCarthy, who, as explained yesterday, has a terrible record on fiscal and constitutional issues.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a liberty-minded Republican, announced just moments ago that he will challenge McCarthy for the top leadership post when the House Republican Conference holds its leadership election Thursday, June 19. Which, by the way, will be conducted by secret ballot.

“I was stunned when Eric Cantor lost his primary election earlier this week. Eric is a good friend and I have tremendous respect for him,” Labrador said in a press release. “But the message from Tuesday is clear – Americans are looking for a change in the status quo.”

“I want a House Leadership team that reflects the best of our conference. A leadership team that can bring the Republican conference together. A leadership team that can help unite and grow our party,” he continued. “Americans don’t believe their leaders in Washington are listening and now is the time to change that.”

Labrador holds lifetime scores of 96 percent from Americans for Prosperity, 95 percent from the Club for Growth, and 92 percent from FreedomWorks. He has an “A” rating from the National Taxpayers Union and he is rated as a free trader by the Cato Institute. He opposes the NSA’s domestic surveillance and is working to reform mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders.

In short, Labrador is a better than McCarthy almost across the board. What’s more, he hasn’t been tainted by the likes of Cantor and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). That’s why Campaign for Liberty and FreedomWorks have endorsed Laborador’s bid for Majority Leader.

Labrador explained that need to address the concerns of the poor and middle class and stop protecting the cronyist class, placing emphasis on the need for equal opportunity and prosperity through the free market.

“President Obama and the Democrats have had their chance and they have failed,” said Labrador. “Republicans must be willing to take these challenges head on with new leadership, fresh ideas, and a different approach.”

“I am running for Majority Leader because I want to help create a vision of growth and opportunity for everyone and start getting to work for the American people,” he added.

This is a simple equation. If Republicans choose another squish to lead their majority in the House of Representatives, they will be signaling to conservatives and the grassroots that they will continue to surrender time and time again. They will raise a banner of pale pastels rather bold colors.

*This posted was updated at 2:09 pm

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