While Buck and McCarthy once enjoyed a stronger relationship, the Coloradan suggested during January’s chaotic presidential election that he would entertain other candidates if the vote dragged on. He ultimately stayed with McCarthy.
When asked after the Tusk Club meeting whether he respected McCarthy, Buck gave a noticeable pause.
He said the speaker had “done more with his talent than anyone I’ve ever seen.” Asked the question again, he replied: “I respect everything he has done. »
The somewhat tepid praise comes as Buck criticizes McCarthy’s handling of the two biggest issues in Washington today: the House GOP impeachment inquiry, which he rejected in his editorial as “a flimsy excuse,” and spending talks.
Buck is also annoyed by the speaker’s lack of movement on ideas to limit spending, such as appointing subcommittees to work on eliminating government waste — which could make him a greater threat to the speaker.
“Here’s the thing: He said spending was his number one priority when he was elected president. And then he didn’t institute any of the things I’m talking about.
Buck added that McCarthy can’t regain his confidence on the matter because the president’s camp isn’t “taking this seriously,” lamenting that “their goal is to stay in power.”
Colleagues who know Buck well are not surprised to see him, but laugh at the blowback he receives from public attacks by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is muttering about a primary challenge.
Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), a friend since they were law school classmates, described his ideology as “a very different brand of conservatism that is typical of the Intermountain West,” if not typically reflected in the party base.
Take for example his stubborn refusal to oppose Biden’s victory. Lummis remembers running into a fired-up Buck at the Denver airport, both heading to Washington for the election certification votes on January 6, 2021.