Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, Doesn’t Think Trump Is Going Away

You keep calling the House the “minor leagues.”

I look at Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and I look at Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, right? Ten years ago they were sitting in House seats.

What gives you the most cause for concern?

Are we able to maintain our strength and grow it? You know, the Senate’s going to go based upon the House. The Senate Republicans didn’t win their majority in 2010. They couldn’t win it until we brought House members over there. The same thing’s going to happen now. And our members are going to be governors in the future. They’re going to be running for president. The party is going to be more diverse. We’re not more diverse today but we are going to be. We’re on the path.

What role does Trump play in the next couple of years?

I don’t think Trump goes away. If at the end of the day he does not win the presidency, he will still be a player and he’ll still have a base. And if you sit back, if Trump was not on the ticket, would we have won seats this year? He brought turnout.

Mr. Trump helped Republicans in Miami, where Mayor Carlos Giménez of Miami-Dade County defeated Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Mr. Giménez did not vote for Mr. Trump in 2016, but he agreed to support him this election, and the two reached an accord on a trip Mr. Trump made to Miami.

I literally told Trump, “He didn’t vote for you,” right? And I laid everything out. He goes: “I’ll endorse him. I want to know publicly he’s going to support me.” So Carlos puts a tweet out, right? He lands that day, shakes his hand, he says, “I’m going to endorse you and I’m going to do more for you.” And you know what he did? He got elected.

Doesn’t Biden cool the country’s political temperatures, at least at first?

It depends how it turns out. If you have 70 percent of Republicans who thought he cheated, he’s still going to have a hard time.

He didn’t, of course. But the reason they believe that is because it’s being stoked every day.

But remember when he was running. He was appeasing the left. And then he was going back from his old self to his new self, right? So if he’s fortunate enough to win the election he’s probably sitting back, saying, “I’m glad the Republicans won because I don’t have to …”