Utah Sen. Mike Lee called Kevin McCarthy's surprise announcement that he was dropping out of the race for House speaker "emblematic" of the tension across the country.
"Congressman McCarthy's withdrawal from the speakership race today was emblematic of a tension that is felt by the American people," Lee told TheBlaze. "There is great conflict, people are not feeling like they're well represented in Washington and a lot of people are divided. Even among Republicans, people across the country have different feelings about what Washington ought to be doing."
Lee said Americans are united by a "certain dissatisfaction with the Washington status quo. They want something different and I don't know how this is all going to turn out with the speaker's race, but I do know that we're now seeing played out on the floor of the House of Representatives, a lot of the angst that the American people feel about what is happening in Washington."
McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was widely presumed to succeed John Boehner as speaker, instead told House Republicans Thursday that he was bowing out of the race. He said there needs to be a "fresh face" in leadership, but that he plans to remain House Majority leader.