Paul Ryan endorses Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as House GOP leader

Ryan backs Mc Carthy for Speaker He's 'the right person'

Greg Nash

To become the next speaker, McCarthy must win the majority of votes in the chamber, where Republicans now have a majority. Some conservative House members were unhappy with him.

"We have made a huge positive difference in people's lives, and people are more confident as a result of it", Ryan said. Scalise has said publicly that he would not run against McCarthy. Republicans were left reeling over who will replace him and whether Ryan's lame-duck status will jeopardize the GOP's pitch to voters and donors.

Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseMcCarthy says early leadership election to replace Ryan unlikely Ryan rebuffs calls that he make a speedier exit The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-La.) has also expressed openness to running for the position, but said this week he would not run against McCarthy. It also comes as the GOP girds for a tough fight to keep control of the House this year.

Although Ryan asserted on "Meet the Press" that Scalise agrees McCarthy is the best choice to be the next speaker, Scalise hasn't pulled his name from consideration.

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But just because Scalise appeared to defer to McCarthy doesn't mean the race will play out that way.

Ryan had announced that he will be retiring from the Congress on Wednesday, bringing his three-year job as a speaker to an end. That may be good news for McCarthy because he is close to Trump - as is House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, a conservative from North Carolina. "If the leader of your party is cutting bait because he sees no chance he's going to hold onto his speakership, it's going to lead a lot of Republicans across the country to wonder if they should do the same thing". Rumblings from the conservative Freedom Caucus that he wasn't conservative enough led McCarthy to withdraw his bid hours before his Republican colleagues were set to cast a vote.

Ryan's retirement, Trump's low approval ratings, congressional polling, and recent special elections all point to Democratic gains in the midterms.

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