The conservative House Freedom Caucus that bedeviled Speaker John Boehner and derailed California Rep. Kevin McCarthy's shot at the top job has "more members than people suspect they do" – and will keep rattling Congress, former Rep. Tom DeLay tells Newsmax TV.
In a spirited defense Friday of the hard-right wing of the House – whose membership numbers are kept secret, but have been pegged at about 40
– DeLay tells "Newsmax Now" hosts John Bachman and Miranda Khan that the group is "expressing the will of the people."
"This is the people rising up, that's what you're noticing here, and they're rising up through their representatives," the former majority leader says. "They're demanding accountability, they're demanding that these elected officials do what they promised they would do, and this is the result."
"It's also the result of a lack of leadership," DeLay says. "So the Freedom Caucus is doing exactly what they should be doing and they're going to have a lot to say because they have more members than people suspect they do."
Watch Newsmax TV on DirecTV Ch. 349, DISH Ch. 223
and Verizon FiOS Ch. 115.
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system — Click Here Now
DeLay said Boehner, whose surprise announcement that he'd leave the gavel and House at the end of the month created a leadership battle, tried to give McCarthy "an advantage by calling for a quick election."
"When you're electing the speaker, you need a little time to work this out and the result is what happened yesterday," DeLay said, referring to McCarthy's abrupt decision to quit
the Speaker race.
"So now they're going to take the time – whether Boehner likes it or not – and they're going to deliberate, they're going to talk to their members," DeLay said. "They're looking at [Wisconsin Republican Rep.] Paul Ryan, [Texas GOP Rep.] Jeb Hensarling, some others, and somebody really good will emerge."
DeLay noted the problem isn't with conservative versus mainstream Republicans.
"Almost every Republican in the conference is a conservative by certain degrees," he says. "This is about trusting your leadership, this is about having a new direction with a new leader and rejecting the old leadership. McCarthy got a little bit of Boehner all over him, and that's why he had a real problem. The members want new leadership and real leadership."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.