GOP Speaker Candidates were set to have a televised debate on Fox News.
Bret Baier was set to moderate.
Candidates have now pulled out.
The top Republicans vying to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy as the next speaker of the House of Representatives have backed out of a televised debate that was scheduled to air Monday on Fox News.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan both agreed that the debate on the conservative news network would not be a good idea, two sources told NBC News on Friday.
Rep. Kevin Hern, chair of the Republican Study Committee, said in a social media post on X — formerly known as Twitter — that he would not participate in the debate, which was set to take place six days after McCarthy was removed as speaker.
“We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV,” Hern wrote. “The Republican conference needs a family discussion.”
According to CNN, multiple House Republicans were furious that candidates had initially agreed to the debate.
Multiple House Republicans told CNN they were infuriated by the decision for speaker candidates to participate in a televised interview from the Capitol on Monday before speaking to the GOP conference, and several of them have already communicated those frustrations to the speaker candidates.
One lawmaker called it “insanity” and said that “people are pissed.” Another Republican complained that it would turn their speaker’s race into a “circus.” A third predicted the event would not go on as planned because of the all the pushback it had already generated internally.