Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) donned a red “A” on her shirt on Tuesday after her vote to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) left her feeling “demonized” on Capitol Hill, she said.
“I’m wearing the ‘scarlet letter’ after the week that I just had, last week, being a woman up here and being demonized for my vote and for my voice,” Mace told reporters, apparently referencing the 19th century novel in which the protagonist was condemned to wear a red “A” – or a “scarlet letter” – after becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
“I’m here to let the rest of the world know and the country know: I’m on the side of the people. I’m not on the side of the establishment,” Mace continued. “And I’m going to do the right thing every single time no matter the consequences because I don’t answer to anybody in DC. I don’t answer to anyone in Washington. I only answer to the people.”
Mace has faced fierce criticism following her decision to oust McCarthy from the Speakership – the first time in history the House has voted to remove its leader.
Mace joined seven Republican colleagues and all Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy. She was the only female Republican to take the vote.
Mace has since defended her vote, arguing McCarthy broke several promises to her in exchange for her support in January, on issues including women’s rights. Her Republican colleagues have claimed McCarthy broke other promises to them in exchange for their support in January. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) led the Republican effort to remove McCarthy.
The Speakership has been vacant since last Tuesday, when McCarthy was ousted. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) have both declared their interest in the position.
Republicans met on Tuesday to try to find consensus on a candidate, but members still seemed split as they emerged from the room. Mace said she plans to vote for Jordan.
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