NewsCovering Kern County


Political analysts on how Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s audio tapes may impact election

"They want power."
Kevin McCarthy
Posted at 4:35 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 15:29:54-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It’s become a matter of he says, he said.

Newly released audio tapes show that Local Congressman Kevin McCarthy did plan on advising former President Donald Trump to resign from office following the January 6th Capitol Riots. This is despite his denial of that claim.

In less than two months, Kern County voters will be lining up to cast their votes for their congressional leaders during the primary elections.

Kern County Elections Office stats show that there are almost twice as many registered republican voters as democratic voters in California’s newly drawn 20th Congressional District.

That’s where incumbent Congressman Kevin McCarthy will now run, and since the district is more red, it may help him despite these new developments.

“I think the one thing we learned from Kevin McCarthy, like we learned from Mitch McConnell, is that they want power. McCarthy is really bent on becoming the next speaker on the house,” said Dr. Ivy Cargile, 23ABC Political Analyst.

That aspiration, Dr. Cargile said, can't be achieved without Kevin McCarthy keeping his congressional seat.

Despite audio recordings contradicting McCarthy’s recent statement that he would not advise then-president trump to step down following the January 6th Capitol Riots, she said this goal of being successful in the November 6 midterm elections is not lofty.

“Maybe you’ll see a little bit of pushback against him, from those who are sticking right-wing purity. That you know, he betrayed Donald Trump, and as a result, they can’t support him, but at the end of the day, what’s the other option, you’re going to support a democrat? They’re not going to do that.”

23ABC did receive the following statement from Kern GOP’s member, Cathy Abernathy. She said, “This audio segment hours and days after the Capitol mob scene merely shows McCarthy speculating on what may or may not happen. Including that Kevin might advise Trump that should he be impeached; he might consider resigning. Kevin made clear that he doubted the President would accept such advice if offered. Whether Kevin did or did not make that offer is needless speculation.”

But Dr. Cargile and the Chair of the Kern County Democratic Party Christian Romo said this revelation could cost Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker of the house. It could even show how influential Trump still is.

“If he went against Trump and was ready to pull that trigger to have him ousted, will Trump allow him and others to have leadership positions who are now caught up in this mess, does that mean McCarthy’s speakership is in danger? I think so.”

Romo said Republicans do still have an advantage in districts in a very red region. Thanks to newly drawn lines, McCarthy will now run against two Republicans and two Democrats in California’s 20th Congressional District.

It covers parts of Bakersfield, Kings, Tulare, and Fresno counties, and Dr. Cargile said it's a deeper shade of crimson than McCarthy’s previous 23rd.

According to the Kern County Election Office, almost 57,000 people are registered Democrats while more than 110,000 are registered Republicans.

Even if McCarthy keeps his congressional seat, his words, Romo said, could impact fellow members of his party.

“This is going to be really impactful on these swing districts all across the country. Specifically, right here in our own backyard. In the Valadao versus Rudy Salas race. We’re going to see that and where Valadao falls in all of this, and people will start to have to answer up to, ‘do you think Trump was at fault for this insurrection’.”

Romo also said if McCarthy is reelected, he’s hoping the release of these audio tapes will hold him accountable specifically in his efforts here at home for his constituents.