Who Is?
S3 E16

Who Is Kevin McCarthy? Narrated by Michael Wolf

Kevin McCarthy is a former toasted sandwich slinger, and the current House majority leader. He’s in charge of helping the Republican agenda get through Congress, and likely protecting the president. But he’s outnumbered, and some sources say he’s not tough or smart enough for the job.

Kevin Owen McCarthy was born in 1965 to working class Democrats in Bakersfield, California. McCarthy worked to pay for his first semester at Bakersfield College, a community college. After re-selling cars he bought at auctions in LA, he decided to try his luck on a scratcher. He won $5,000 and with it, opened up “Kevin O’s Deli” at just 19 years old. The deli served up toasted subs, which McCarthy thinks he invented. He claims his establishment was “Subway before Subway.”

In 2002, McCarthy was elected to the California State Assembly, becoming the Republican leader during his freshman term in 2003. He then entered the Republican primary for California’s 23rd district, and won his boss’ seat handily with 71% of the vote in the general election. He won re-election six times all the way to 2018.

When John Boehner announced he was going to resign as Speaker in 2015, McCarthy announced his candidacy for the role. But it was short-lived because, less than a month later, he unexpectedly dropped out of the race. But Paul Ryan is stepping down at the end of this term, and McCarthy easily won an internal party election against Jim Jordan to take over as minority leader in January. But he almost ruined his chances once again. Ahead of the 2018 midterms, McCarthy posted a tweet asserting that Jewish political donors like George Soros were trying to buy the midterms. McCarthy posted the tweet AFTER Soros received a pipe bomb in the mail.

When McCarthy takes over as Minority Leader in January, he is slated to work with Democrats, so long as it’s not exposing the president.