McCarthy: GOP Congress leads to GOP president

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

Story highlights

  • McCarthy said GOP needs to capture Congress and govern effectively for a shot at 2016
  • Obama executive action on immigration reform would kill chances at immigration overhaul
  • On Biden? McCarthy says the VP is more effective in 36 hours than Obama is in three months
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tied his party's 2016 White House prospects to the election just one week away -- and how Republicans govern over the next two years.
Speaking at a fundraiser in Long Island this weekend, the No. 2 House Republican told donors that Republicans need to win back the Senate this year and govern effectively in Congress beginning in January to have a chance at seating a Republican in the Oval Office.
"If we don't capture the House stronger, and the Senate, and prove we could govern, there won't be a Republican president in 2016," McCarthy said, according to a Politico profile published Sunday.
McCarthy has privately estimated that the GOP has a 75 percent chance of retaking the Senate, according to the same report.
But it will be "tough" if those Senate odds don't prevail, McCarthy said.
"If it stays Democratic, it's going to be a frustrating time," he added.
One of the challenges Republicans are sure to face if they take a majority in both houses of Congress is immigration reform.
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McCarthy left the door open to broad immigration reform legislation, but called President Barack Obama's plans to reform the immigration system by executive order "the worst way."
Obama has pledged to use executive orders to reform the immigration system after the midterm elections.
But if that happens, McCarthy said it would "stop everything," Politico reported.
McCarthy ascended to his post as House Majority Leader in August after his predecessor Eric Cantor lost his Republican primary in a surprise defeat that sent shockwaves throughout the Beltway.
McCarthy also knocked Obama for having a tough time "coming to an agreement," but offered his praise for Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden can "do more in 36 hours than [Obama] did in three months," McCarthy said.