Ryan signals support for McCarthy as next GOP leader

Ryan signals support for McCarthy as next GOP leader

A day earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan told colleagues he wouldn't seek re-election in November, implicitly starting the race to replace him.

Some Republicans are suggesting that Paul Ryan should be pushed out as Speaker before the November elections. "I've talked to Mr. Scalise and Mr. McCarthy".

"It's time for a reset and a refocus on one primary objective: Doing what the American people elected us to do, doing what we told them we were going to do", Jordan said.

"I think the reality of the situation is this is D.C. There are a lot of "Type A" personalities here", said Representative Tom Reed, a New York Republican. An aide at the House Republican Conference did not immediately respond to an inquiry on the leadership election's timing. McCarthy abruptly left that contest days later after failing to line up enough votes, and Ryan accepted the post.

"My hope, and this has been my advice, is we need to focus", said Reed, a Ways and Means Committee member who says he has no designs on a leadership job. And both have resume problems that fellow Republicans insisted they'd overcome.

"Scalise has been struggling with an episode that almost ended his ascent within the leadership: In 2002, while serving as a state lawmaker, he attended a meeting of a white supremacist group in Louisiana and faced a firestorm when the episode was publicized in 2014".

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McCarthy suggested in 2015 that a House committee probing the deadly 2012 raid on the USA embassy in Benghazi, Libya, had damaged Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's poll numbers, undermining GOP arguments that the investigation wasn't politically motivated.

That raised questions about his ability as a communicator, a key for party leaders. He mentioned California's McCarthy and Scalise but also said another candidate might be possible. As things stand, McCarthy appears to be the favorite not only among the membership but also in the mind of perhaps the most important voice in the Republican Party, President Trump. Members of the highly conservative House Freedom Caucus were threatening to withhold their support unless McCarthy, who is considered more a part of the Republican establishment, embraced their pick for a new majority leader and made other concessions.

Conservative groups have awarded Scalise modestly stronger voting ratings than McCarthy.

McCarthy has worked to improve his relationship with conservatives, including trying to craft legislation cutting spending from the government budget enacted recently. Walker said the Freedom Caucus would have more influence if GOP House numbers dwindle in 2018.

In 2015, Freedom Caucus members also said they were open to considering McCarthy at first, but ultimately rejected him for Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., who had little chance of winning. Scalise didn't answer directly when asked if he's now supporting McCarthy.

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