GOP Elects New House Majority Leader

Kevin McCarthy will serve as replacement for Eric Cantor.
12:04 | 06/19/14

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Transcript for GOP Elects New House Majority Leader
I like to keep things local. Another thing we're saying is that all staffers volunteers and supporters are coming from all corners of the Republican Party and beyond. We got longtime Republicans all stripes we have Tea Party years independents and libertarians on board. And this is precisely what this campaign. Is all about from the beginning we're unify. All of these different groups under one common set of principles. Republican congressional candidate -- -- speaking there are about his campaign. This afternoon it's all about this man Bakersfield California Republican Kevin McCarthy will become the new majority leader today. His fellow house members picking him as Kantor's replacement. McCarthy has served as house with under speaker John Boehner and cantor. And with more we're joined now by Washington in Washington by ABC news political director Rick Klein. An ABC news senior Washington correspondent Jeff felony both watching. This as it all goes down Rick when cancer lost his race a lot of us were talking about a tight race for the majority -- spot not so what happened. McCarthy had it wired and the message from the House Republican Conference is that they wanted continuity in wanna shake up the conference -- -- after the shock of Kantor's defeat. Nine days ago but McCarthy had something that no one else in the race could possibly have which is the trust and the phone number of every other member of that conference on speed -- he had a lot of favors he could call and a lot of friends that he had made over the years in the position of vote -- a lot of trust that he had built out. And ultimately the conservative and Tea Party efforts that to try to defeat him or at least make it a closer race -- there was no serious question McCarthy would ascend to the post of majority leader despite a lot of concerns from outside groups and even some people inside the conference about. Having another blue Stater. If the number two spot also someone so associated with the -- leadership there -- efforts to try to get a more serious Tea Party contender -- was an effort by congress and -- Labrador. To try to become that guy. No one was able to do it so McCarthy me pretty quick work of his opponents. And Jeff you're there right on scene were expected to hear from lawmakers about the decision tell us a bit more about. Kevin McCarthy what's his reputation on the hill and with his. But still we are here in the longworth office building it's one of the office buildings in the capitol complex and really just behind closed doors. Just a little bit to a town hall here house Republicans are gathering and cast a secret ballot to elect Kevin McCarthy. And Rick is absolutely right -- does have the phone number of every member Indians. Deep and strong relationships of these members and that is because in twenty -- when Republicans won back the house is droplets recruitment here. He traveled across the country and helped fund -- help recruit candidates and isn't very good strong relationship. The matters speaker Boehner wanted to have this election. Very quickly in the wake of Eric Anderson tries to feed so there would not be a vacuum so -- would not be time for. -- Tea Party insurgents you. Into an effective challenge against Kevin McCarthy. City as he -- -- -- Bakersfield California. He is fairly -- of the House of Representatives at least that historically speaking he was elected in in 2006 X one of the smallest freshman classes. On record of course that's the year that Democrats won back -- house simply is a before coming here to congress he was elected to beat the the California State Legislature. And he really is known as us someone who -- that with a handshake and with a personality not steeped in policy perhaps as much as some of his rivals but. -- is right he's going to basically continue on the course -- the speaker Boehner. -- -- -- -- Conference and McCarthy -- great strides in such short time Rick so does this make any more. Make it any more or less or more likely for this congress to make a deal on any kind of legislation with senate Democrats or President Obama. I think didn't McCarthy's job is mostly -- dispute tend to ship for the next couple of months and not Rock the Vote too much I don't think there's going to be an effort. To get much of anything done particularly given the scrutiny he'll be underwent conservative -- Immediately blasting out an email saying conservatives have squandered their opportunity to send a message that -- leadership vote so. It's elegant McCarthy is suddenly gonna bring up a bunch of present Obama's priorities -- liberal legislation or say immigration reform. Given the scrutiny that he's -- going to be under and I tell you a lot of folks are saying that this is just a precursor for the big battle that'll happen. At the end of the year after the elections when the congress elects new leaders all over again the Republicans -- the technically reelect. All of their leadership often that's pro -- it may be different this time around as -- notes this was a short time -- Is going to be something of a longer time for the test period of about six months. For Kevin McCarthy and his number two slot. Speaker Boehner lot of questions about what -- you wanna continue but he assuming that he does there could be an effort to it to try to. They could shake up at the top and to -- Kevin McCarthy's have given the spotlight -- under over the next couple months I I don't think he's going to be trying to bring up any aggressive series of compromises that would that would be seen anyway and as a week to the left as the weeks and moderates -- -- the Democrats. I -- in the -- especially given the circumstances that you know that kept Eric Cantor loses his job because of perceived softness on issues like immigration he really wasn't even that's off. McCarthy is not gonna wanna Shoney's and he soft spots like that. And -- since the cancer debacle there Laurie lost his -- we've seen a lot of names floating around out there former vice presidential candidate. Paul Ryan never sought this job he's always backed McCarthy from pretty early on was that keeping him from throwing his hat into the ring. -- -- Brian has design and one thing he -- -- of the Ways and Means Committee said he was not at all interest in jumping into this a leadership a fight. Just completely extinguished the idea of -- -- -- sixteen presidential candidate although he's not actively working toward that but this was. Slightly from the beginning always going to be. Kevin McCarthy's position he was the number three house where he -- -- about the number two position on the -- what's happening right now behind closed doors just about ten feet from here so. Republicans are still gathered and they are electing the house majority whip. What does -- do -- to win. Actually quite frankly as the name suggests they whip people into shape in the line and they count the votes so it's sort of like the house of cards except usually -- dramatic. But there are three people who are running for that arrangement announced d.s police of Louisiana Peter -- of Illinois and marlin Stutzman of Indiana. Most -- are telling us that they believe. Police have submitted -- -- but again a secret ballot and anything can happen so that is the next thing coming up that we should you know I would. In the hours or couple hours. How about -- out. So McCarthy is unknown and there are voting on the -- -- right now get an idea about the candidates that you mentioned. What's the differences between them. Plug -- what the differences are generally are geography. Means a lot of outside groups. Want someone in the house leadership to be from a deeply red state. So with John Boehner from Ohio and -- -- -- -- battleground state Kevin McCarthy from California a -- state they -- a -- of house Republican leadership from a deep red state. And that of course would give -- released Buchanan she's from Louisiana. He is. He started campaigning the moment this happened a week ago has a lot of good relationships. Most people think that he. I'm probably has -- -- here but. And time again. In -- house leadership -- elections. Secret ballots sometimes tricky things they have to do a one round of voting. And then the third person falls down and that person actually comes some -- of the king maker and -- -- support to someone else so. Not a ton of differences. Between the three of them actually but geography is one of the biggest ones rates -- Americans. When he represented here in the house -- house. And Rick I want to go back to you and talk a little bit about Dave grabbed the man who -- this -- -- And ball in motion we heard from him today he's gonna unite the Tea Party independents and libertarians and where does that leave a guy like. Days because I think. I think John Boehner -- -- -- they Pratt and basically ignored -- -- -- -- back bench Republican I don't think there's going to be any. And honestly and -- is going to be much of the simmering tensions he beat Eric Cantor he beat him parents where. And I don't think he's going to be someone is seen as immediately replacing him in any sense -- -- to quirky guy he's at a college professor at a at a small. College ran -- making college. He's got to get through -- general election although it's -- it's a pretty Republican districts as long as he doesn't do anything disqualifying. Looks from the reviews -- -- students have given he's a charismatic and interesting and engaging guy with a lot of thoughtful ideas. He was adopted by portions of the Tea Party movement but it really wasn't a Tea Party candidacy. From the start so I think you'll you'll find that he was a bit miss cast in that role I don't think -- communism as sort of a bomb thrower against leadership he'll have his own charged. They'll feel I think if he's elected to congress as if he is he's got his own admission his own agenda when questioned -- supports Peter -- that'll be an open question for him. But he's got to find his -- -- and he's almost disappeared entirely in the -- since its primary win today was billed as a news conference -- any questions he's gonna have to engage more with voters with. Reporters. And and in welcome to the -- -- basically over the next four months of this campaign. In contrast Eric -- not holding back on his congratulations. -- -- out this tweet as soon as the news broke. Saying congratulations to my good friend Kevin O McCarthy on your next election as our next GOP leader. It seems -- -- Eric cancer is taking this all in stride that stride Tuesday. I think not much -- you can -- you shot this is he said to Jon Karl on this week over the weekend he was very surprised by what happened. Still digesting I think a lot of the the fallout of all of this but he has been a good soldier in the sense that he didn't immediately launch an independent candidacy. He gave up his leadership post voluntarily resigning by the end of next month. And he immediately endorse Kevin McCarthy for the job he's been gracious and doing unison and showing in every way -- -- A loyal soldier to the Republican cause he says it's the look for ways to contribute even if that isn't through elected office. But -- I think given the circumstances he's behaved probably about it as well for the good of the party for the sake of the party's point man that. And Jeff do we know anymore about what Eric Cantor is going to do next. We don't know exactly what he's going to do -- next he is stepping down as his house majority leader at the end of July and he said he will continue to. About the rest of his term that is through the end of the year unity -- early part of January and we don't know differently is keeping all its options open. And he has been anything but a sore loser he is is trying to aware this defeat with a smile to the extent possible so right now he is that -- He's capsule keeping its options open these young man -- -- Virginia Republicans believe he still has a political career if he wants ones not exactly sure that -- should be. Of the Virginia governor's race is always something that's attracted to people. It's going to be a rare governors' races in the country where you only serve one term. So that's a possibility there's always a senate seat open and at some point on the line. Or I think he can also go to the private sector so we're not quite -- but. His friends believe that in the short term don't know into the private sector work work for some type of education reform clause that leaves his options sort of more open if he wants to read -- Politics ABC's -- felony and of course Rick Klein thank you both for joining -- giving us some insight on this developing story. Of course Republicans as Jeff mentioned are still behind closed doors. -- on the -- of course you can watch all that -- stream live on Now you've been watching an ABC news digital special report if you can of course keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- and star in this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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