Welp, that was fast! Kevin McCarthy suddenly drops out of Speaker's race

"It is not my time," McCarthy reportedly tells his GOP colleagues in this stunning development

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 8, 2015 4:42PM (EDT)

  (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

House Republicans are a tough bunch.

Days ago, House Speaker John Boehner bowed out as their leader after a papal visit and now House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is reportedly taking himself out of contention for the job.

Herding cats is apparently too difficult:

McCarthy's announcement is a stunning development despite more than a week full of turmoil surrounding his inarticulate admission that the House Select Committee on Benghazi's investigation is no more than a political ploy meant to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions -- an admission that Clinton and Democrats have hammered nonstop over the airwaves and in Congress.

McCarthy reportedly told a closed door meeting of the Republican caucus that he believed he could not reach the 218 votes necessary to secure the speakership.

The scheduled October 29 vote has also been postponed for the second time.

Florida Rep. Daniel Webster, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, elected during the 2010 Tea Party sweep, are currently the only other members who have entered the race to lead the House.

Just this morning, former Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed McCarthy for Speaker, calling the California Republican "a good man and a strong leader."

McCarthy Withdraws Candidacy for Speaker

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Aol_on Gop Civil War House Speaker John Boehner Kevin Mccarthy Tea Party