Republicans' presidential nominee won't be someone who's waited their turn, the third-ranking House Republican said Wednesday.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) suggested that it might be a fresher face in the GOP to snag the nomination in 2012, and face off against President Obama in the general election.

"What's happened in the Republican Party right now, you are having a deck-clearing," McCarthy said in a Q&A with the Christian Science Monitor. "So [the nominee won't be] somebody who has been around for so long [that] it is ... their turn."

The GOP whip's comment speaks to a sense that Republican primary voters have traditionally nominated a candidate who's waited their "turn." For instance, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the nomination in 2008 after having lost it in 2000; Bob Dole won the nomination in 1996 after a long career in Republican politics and previous tries for the presidential nomination.

Under that rubric, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich could all be seen as the kinds of Republicans  who have waited their "turn" for the presidential nomination.

McCarthy also said he favored a longer primary process.

"A longer primary is going to be better for Republicans," he said. "A primary based upon ideas is going to better for Republicans."