McCarthy: Governors only for president

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House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) asserted Thursday that no one should become president without first serving as a governor. 

McCarthy directed his attack at President Obama. He said the president is unwilling to negotiate with Republicans — a skill, McCarthy said, he could have been acquired while running a state. 

“I'm a firm believer that I don't think anyone should become president if they haven’t been a governor first,” he said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” 

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“A governor picks a cabinet, has to work with both sides, can’t print money, has to have a balanced budget. The challenge in Washington is the ability to work together.”

While aimed at President Obama, who served in the Senate before being elected, McCarthy’s comments also hit at a host of congressional Republicans who are likely presidential prospects in 2016. 

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) all lack gubernatorial experience. The same goes for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who recently said he would consider a run after the midterm elections. 

A recent poll found Gov. Chris Christie (R) ranks highest in the GOP when voters are asked whether he would be a good president. 

The top presidential prospects on the Democratic side — Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden — also lack experience as governor. 

Twenty of the 44 presidents through history have had experience as governor. Only eight of those 20 had experience serving a full 4-year term, according to the Smart Politics blog of the University of Minnesota.