Talking Points Memo reports:
House Speaker Paul Ryan has endorsed his top lieutenant, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, to be his successor, giving a significant boost to the Californian’s candidacy in hopes of averting a divisive contest that could make an already difficult election year even tougher for divided Republicans.
“We all think that Kevin is the right person,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in an interview that will air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Ryan said that while he believes McCarthy can line up enough votes now to win the job, he doesn’t want a campaign for the party’s top job to sidetrack GOP lawmakers at a crucial time. Ryan has said he will serve as speaker through the year, though some in the party want him to leave earlier.
Earlier today hardliner Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan said that he might challenge McCarthy for the gavel. It appears that Steve Scalise will cede to McCarthy.