GOP’s McCarthy: Pelosi Can Remove Confederate Portraits, But She Might Start With Her Party and Biden

By Bailey Duran | June 19, 2020 | 2:16pm EDT
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)  (Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- During a Thursday conference call with reporters, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the authority to remove portraits from the U.S. Capitol that she deems offensive or racist, but he stressed that she may want to start by reexamining her political party’s name and its 2020 presidential nominee if she is interested in real change from the past.  

During the call, USA Today’s Christal Hayes asked McCarthy if he supported Pelosi’s announcement to remove portraits of four former Democratic Speakers of the House who had been members of the Southern Confederacy.

McCarthy said: “The Speaker has the power to do that. Statues are different, so she has the right to do that.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)  (Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (Getty Images)

“But it raises another question,” he said. “If the Speaker’s concerned about that, should she also start talking about changing the name of her party and actually changing the nominee?”

“Because remember in 1977, Biden, what he said about the segregation policies like busing would mean his children would grow up in a ‘radical jungle,’” said McCarthy.

“Or in 1993, to support his crime bill, Biden said we have predators on our streets, that they are beyond the pale and that we have no choice but to take them out of society,” said the Minority Leader.


McCarthy continued, “Then, what about in 2010 when he was vice president? Biden made the decision to deliver a eulogy for a former Klansman. And what do they call him, the ‘cyclops’? Robert Byrd’s funeral? What did he say there? What did he say when he went to that funeral in 2010? When he was vice president of the United States?”

“He called him a friend, a mentor and a guide,” said McCarthy.

“For those four Democrats that are speakers that Nancy Pelosi wants to remove, she never met any of those,” he said. “She worked with Vice President Biden. She’s nominating Vice President Biden, she endorsed Vice President Biden, who said at Robert Byrd’s funeral he was a friend, a mentor and a guide.”

 “I think she should really be concerned about the history of her party and what her party has done,” said McCarthy. “So shouldn’t they change the name if they’re going to be different? Shouldn’t they change the nominee if they want to be different?”

The portraits that are scheduled to be removed are portraits of former Democratic Speakers of the House: Robert Hunter (Va.), Howell Cobb (Ga.), James Orr (S.C.) and Charles Crisp (Ga.).

The removal is planned for June 19 or “Juneteenth,” the date set to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States in 1865.

"There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy,” said Pelosi on Thursday.

The Democratic Party was founded by the followers of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. Jackson was strong supporter of slavery and owned 95 slaves, as recorded in 1829.

As Vanderbilt University Political Science and Law Prof. Carol Swain has explained, “Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party has fought against every major civil rights initiative, and has a long history of discrimination. The Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s.”

“In contrast, the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party,” said Swain. “Its mission was to stop the spread of slavery into the new western territories with the aim of abolishing it entirely.”

“During the era of Reconstruction, federal troops stationed in the south helped secure rights for the newly freed slaves,” said Swain. “Hundreds of black men were elected to southern state legislatures as Republicans, and 22 black Republicans served in the US Congress by 1900. The Democrats did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935.”

“Democrats falsely claim that the Republican Party is the villain, when in reality it’s the failed policies of the Democratic Party that have kept blacks down,” said Swain.  “Massive government welfare has decimated the black family. Opposition to school choice has kept them trapped in failing schools. Politically correct policing has left black neighborhoods defenseless against violent crime.”

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