Now roughly two weeks after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from that position, House Republicans are still scrambling to find a suitable and widely accepted replacement to succeed the ex-speaker in that role.
That has caused some frustrations to boil over, including for "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade, who was overheard on a hot mic calling a particular House Republican a "dumbass" for not backing the current Speaker-Designee Jim Jordan (R-OH), according to the Washington Examiner.
The subject of Kilmeade's scorn was Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who voted on Tuesday to restore McCarthy to his prior spot instead of voting in favor of Jordan.
Tuesday afternoon, the Fox News "Outnumbered" discussion program, on which Kilmeade was the day's guest co-host, interrupted its normal routine to instead carry live the House floor's alphabetical roll call voice vote on Rep. Jordan's nomination to be the next House speaker.
When it came time for Rep. Bacon to announce his vote, he loudly declared, "McCarthy," and after a second or two of silence, Kilmeade was overheard lambasting the Nebraska congressman as a "dumbass."
Brian Kilmeade was caught exclaiming, “dumbass!” on a hot mic during Fox News’ House Speaker vote coverage after Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) instead of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). pic.twitter.com/l7VJZZmzbU
— The Recount (@therecount) October 17, 2023
His frustration at the apparent inability of House Republicans to select a new speaker was already made evident earlier in the day when, in his role as "Fox & Friends" co-host, Kilmeade openly derided the whole affair as "a carnival of idiots," according to RealClearPolitics.
The Examiner noted that Rep. Jordan ultimately fell about 20 Republican votes shy of the 217 needed to secure the speaker's gavel following that vote on Tuesday.
Of those who voted against him, some voted like Bacon to restore McCarthy to his previous position while others voted for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was initially nominated as Speaker-Designee last week but withdrew prior to a vote when his lack of broad support became clear.
Despite Jordan's failure to clear the House majority threshold necessary to officially become Speaker, he had previously vowed to do "whatever it takes" to ensure the House had its constitutionally required leader, even if that meant holding multiple votes until a consensus was reached.
As for Kilmeade, Mediaite reported that he was entirely unapologetic when he later realized that his explicit criticism of Rep. Bacon had been picked up by his mic and broadcast live on air.
Speaking on his eponymously titled podcast and radio show, Kilmeade recounted the mounting frustration he felt as House Republicans, after two weeks of not having a speaker, were still unable to come together to back Rep. Jordan for that position.
"I did not know my mic was open," he said. "But next thing you know, by the time I walk upstairs, out of Outnumbered, my seventh hour of broadcasting, my last words were 'dumbass.' Those were the words that were being carried everywhere."
"No one’s really upset that I said it. No one said I’m wrong that I said it. I am stunned!" he added, and said of Bacon and House Republicans more generally, "I’ve never seen somebody commit political suicide, a group of people commit political suicide like this. And after two weeks of therapy, people going home on their own and coming back, they’re still doing the same thing!"