“A Clean Shot to the Kidneys”: House Republican Tim Burchett Claims Kevin McCarthy Sucker Punched Him in the Back, Says Former House Speaker Is a “Chicken” With “No Guts”

One of the main takeaways from last month’s cringeworthy attempt by Republicans to elect a House Speaker was that the GOP is an ungovernable shitshow. Another pretty clear indication: The altercation that went down this morning between two GOP congressmen—one of whom was, until very recently, the leader of the House—which allegedly involved a sucker punch, a foot chase, and accusations of being a “chicken” with “no guts.”

Yes, just when you thought the GOP couldn’t become any more of a national embarrassment, Representative Tim Burchett, one of eight Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy, told CNN reporter Manu Raju that McCarthy “sucker” punched him in the back this morning while Burchett was being interviewed by NPR.

Said the congressman from Tennessee: “I was doing an interview with Claudia from NPR, a lovely lady, and she was asking me a question. And at that time, I got elbowed in the back, and it kind of caught me off guard because it was a clean shot to the kidneys. And I turned back, and there was Kevin. And for a minute, I was kind of, ‘What the heck just happened?’ And then I chased after him, of course. As I’ve stated many times he’s a bully with $17 million and a security detail. He’s the type of guy that, when you were a kid, would throw a rock over the fence and run home and hide behind his mama’s skirt…. That’s not the way we handle things in East Tennessee. If we have a problem with somebody, I’m going to look ’em in the eye and talk to ’em.”

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Asked what happened when he caught up to McCarthy, Burchett told Raju, “He just acted like ’what are you talking about, who are you,’ you know, that kind of thing. And I just think that’s symptomatic of the problems he’s had in his short tenure as Speaker…. He wouldn’t turn around and face me. He kept scurrying and trying to keep people between me and him…. You just don’t expect a guy who was at one time three steps from the White House to sucker, to hit you with a sucker punch in the hallway.”

On X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Claudia Grisales, who was interviewing Burchett at the time of the incident, gave her account of what happened, writing: “While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not…. Burchett responded jokingly as McCarthy kept walking, ‘Sorry Kevin didn’t mean to elbow –’ then seriously yelled, ‘Why’d you elbow me in the back, Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?’”

Grisales added that Burchett told McCarthy, “You got no guts…what kind of chicken move is that? You’re pathetic, man, you are so pathetic.”

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