Ryan anoints McCarthy as his successor


House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Kevin McCarthy, saying he's the "right person" to lead the GOP.

"I think we all believe that Kevin is the right person", the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview that aired Friday.

Ryan also batted back concerns that McCarthy's run for speaker may end up like it did in 2015, when the California Republican dropped out of the speaker's race despite being the frontrunner because not enough members voiced support for his candidacy.

"Paul's staying all the way through and we've got our work cut out for us to continue to work to keep the majority and a lot of legislation to get done", added McCarthy. Some have said that in the "Trump primary", McCarthy has an edge, while on the other hand, Scalise has been termed as the "Legend of Louisiana".

Ryan forcefully rejected such concerns as coming from a "small group" and not the vast majority of the Republican caucus.

A big factor in McCarthy's favor is his close personal relationship with President Trump. "I think that's encouraging because what it shows you is that we have an intact leadership team that supports each other". If more high ranking Republicans retire, the Republicans will have a very hard time holding onto the House.

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If Democrats gain seats as expected in the November elections, Republican losses likely will fall most heavily among moderates representing swing districts.

Scalise and Jordan combined can deny McCarthy the necessary votes.

The Freedom Caucus is looking to flex its muscle again in the leadership race this year, and may seek to extract promises from McCarthy in exchange for their support. But that doesn't solve the GOP's problem of who will succeed Ryan, if not McCarthy.

Prominent House conservative Rep. Jim Jordan of OH said Friday that he also is considering a speakers bid. McCarthy was also considered the favorite in his first bid for speaker before protest from the conservative wing of the caucus derailed his bid.

Jordan can play a spoiler role for McCarthy and not much else.