CNN "The Situation Room" - TRANSCRIPT House Returning To Session Soon As Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Seizes Momentum; Biden Honors Heroes Two Years After January 6th Insurrection; Affidavit Reveals Chilling Details About Idaho Murders; Bills: Damar Hamlin's Breathing Tube Removed, Now Able To Talk; Soon: House Returns To Session Amid Historic Speaker Fight. Aired 6-7p ET


Date: Jan. 6, 2023


Let's discuss what's going on right now with a key supporter of Kevin McCarthy, Republican Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio. Congressman, thank you so much for joining us on this very historic and very, very busy day. What's your reaction, first of all, to Manu's latest reporting, we just heard it, the new strategy to get some holdouts not necessarily to vote for McCarthy but to simply vote present?

REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R-OH): Yes. It's an honor to join you, Wolf, and your viewers. And, look, hopefully, there's a graceful exit for these people. Clearly, we found a way to provide a broader consensus for our governing coalition as a result of this process. Ideally it would have been done ahead of January 3rd. But the up side for the American population and, frankly, the world is you see a little bit of how this is done, it's a little bit more collaborative than I think a lot of people realize.

And so we really do have a consensus on how we can move forward. Hopefully, that means we can move at a faster pace than we would have otherwise been able to do. And these last six people, maybe there's a way for them to not actually vote for Kevin McCarthy but to provide a logic for why they have been reluctant to support him. We will see over time and maybe they can vote present and provide the consensus we need to get on offense.

BLITZER: You have clearly been firmly, very firmly, Congressman, in Kevin McCarthy's corner during this entire fight. Do you share his confidence right now that he will be elected speaker of the House tonight?

DAVIDSON: Well, you know, he hasn't earned the job until he's earned all the votes. And that's yet to be determined. I think we're all optimistic that that's going to happen here at 10:00 when we call the roll again. But we will see how it goes. I'm hopeful and optimistic but it's no guarantee, for sure.

BLITZER: No guarantee until it's done.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz says McCarthy will be governing, he says, in a straight jacket due to the very tough concessions he had to make to get to this point. What do you say to Congressman Gaetz?

DAVIDSON: Well, look, you know, if that's what it takes to get Matt Gaetz to support Kevin McCarthy, I'm glad he will be able to get to a point where we can get on offense. I think there are a lot of things. Look, the reality is, all along, every vote comes right before it is a rule vote that sets the framework. And if we're going to do Republican policy, it's always been able to be taken down with five votes throughout the course of the year.

So, I think the reality of a narrow majority is you have a leader that has to be accountable to the whole conference. And in some ways, Nancy Pelosi had to do the same. She did it before January 3rd. I wish that Kevin in this group of people had been reluctant to support him have been able to do this ahead of January 3rd. I'm hopeful that we do it here tonight. But the reality is we are going to have to work together. We only have a majority if we work together as a majority.

BLITZER: You have said this feud within your own Republican Party, Congressman, has turned personal and that emotions have run very high. How are Republicans going to work together after all of this?

DAVIDSON: Well, if you look, I mean, very publically my colleague, Dan Crenshaw, has been very critical of some of these people, even comparing them to terrorists. And that's not helpful. It pushes people further apart. It dehumanizes one another. And it escalates the rhetoric. And people take that personally.

And that's part of human nature, right? When you are involve in conflict, you dehumanize the people there. It makes it easier to engage in the fight. And as an army guy, that's part of the training. And you need to do that at times.

We don't need do that here. We need to deescalate that. We need to be able to heal the wounds from this and be able to come together and say, look, I respect your point of view. Nobody is sent to Congress to follow orders. Everyone and every district around the country has constituents that are saying to fight for us. And everyone of these people believes passionately that's what they were doing, that's what they were sent here to do for sure. And I hope tonight we have a consensus to be able to do just that.

BLITZER: We shall see pretty soon. Congressman Warren Davidson, thank you so much for joining us.

DAVIDSON: Thank you, Wolf.