Ryan signals support for McCarthy as next GOP leader

Ryan signals support for McCarthy as next GOP leader
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A day after his retirement announcement, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump revokes Brennan's security clearance The Hill's 12:30 Report Poll: Republicans favor Scalise for Speaker; Dems favor Pelosi MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday signaled support for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyInternet security expert: 'I don’t think it’s right to say’ tech giants are politically biased Poll: Republicans favor Scalise for Speaker; Dems favor Pelosi Jim Carrey targets McCarthy, Nunes ahead of midterms MORE (R-Calif.) as his successor. 

Ryan did so by saying that he was pleased that Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScalisePoll: Republicans favor Scalise for Speaker; Dems favor Pelosi Trump ally suspends reelection campaign Trump’s endorsements cement power but come with risks MORE (R-La.) had endorsed McCarthy to succeed him.

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"I was encouraged that Scalise this morning said that he thinks after the election that Kevin McCarthy ought to be the person to replace me after the elections,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference.

"What it shows you is that we have an intact leadership team that supports each other, that's all heading in the right direction,” the Speaker added.

In an appearance on Fox News, Scalise said he would not run against McCarthy but did not offer an endorsement.

“I wouldn't run against Kevin. He and I are good friends,” Scalise told Fox News.

Neither McCarthy nor Scalise has publicly said that they are running for the position, though many lawmakers expect both to do so.

Ryan stated Wednesday and again on Thursday that he has a preference for who should succeed him when he steps down from the speakership in January. But he has not made his preference public.

However, many interpreted his remarks Thursday as a sign that he preferred McCarthy, his top deputy, to replace him as leader of the GOP conference.

Ryan, McCarthy and then-Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorHillicon Valley: GOP leader wants Twitter CEO to testify on bias claims | Sinclair beefs up lobbying during merger fight | Facebook users experience brief outage | South Korea eyes new taxes on tech Sinclair hired GOP lobbyists after FCC cracked down on proposed Tribune merger California wildfires prompt deficit debate in Congress MORE (R-Va.) launched the House GOP's "Young Guns" agenda that helped propel Republicans back into the majority in the 2010 midterm elections.

And Ryan backed then-Rep. Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PricePelosi seizes on anti-corruption message against GOP White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report GOP lawmaker calls for ethics rules changes after Collins charged with insider trading MORE (R-Ga.) over Scalise in a short-lived campaign for majority leader in the leadership shake-up following Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority Consultant to Virginia Senate candidate compared GOP establishment to 'house negro': report MORE's (R-Ohio) resignation in October 2015.

Melanie Zanona contributed.