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Ex-GOP Lawmaker Says Republicans Must Work With Dems Or Face Disaster: ‘The Only Way Out’

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Charlie Dent

Former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) spoke with CNN on Monday where he slammed House Republican leaders for their efforts to secure Kevin McCarthy’s votes for Speaker by making more and more promises to the fringe far-right elements of the caucus.

“Do you think that McCarthy is being hoisted on his own petard in any way, in a sense that many people criticize him for being too complacent when it comes to the rise of this — it’s not just Freedom Caucus types, it’s really more extreme than that when talking about the Paul Gosars of the world,” said anchor Jake Tapper. “So has he been so complacent that, ultimately, he let enough of these people into the conference, didn’t object when they defeated, for instance, Denver Riggleman in Virginia, and now they’re coming after him?”

“I think he’s empowered too many of them, or they feel empowered anyway,” said Dent. “In my advice to these Republican Speakers from Boehner to Ryan, and now my advice to McCarthy, would always be, look, you have to marginalize these figures. If that means going to the Democrats and say, we need votes on a particular bill, maybe in this case for the Speaker, cut a deal with the Democrats. That might be the only way out if they can’t get 218 Republican votes for the Speaker. But that’s the way you deal with that. You have to marginalize them, and Republicans need to basically make agreements with the Democrats until the Democrats won’t make agreements with them anymore. That’s how you deal with them. You don’t keep moving the conference to the right, take care of them to pass bills they know have no chance of passing a Senate controlled by Democrats, or Republicans for that matter.”f

Instead of doing this, said Dent, Republican leadership from McCarthy on down seem content to coddle people who will never really give their full support to House business./

“I don’t understand why they continue this game of appeasement of these rejectionist members who really aren’t going to help them in terms of governing with things like the debt ceiling or funding the government,” said Dent. “I always felt that Republican leadership … took too much advice and guidance from these people who weren’t voting for the bills.”

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