GOP leader: Biden will be the 'Jeb Bush of this cycle'

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan Barr to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday California delivers swift suit after Trump orders water diversion MORE on Thursday panned Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration MORE's prospects in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, calling the former vice president the “Jeb Bush of this cycle.”

“I think Biden, no disrespect, is the Jeb Bush of this cycle,” the California Republican said at an Axios event. “I think he could have run at a different time and he would have been the nominee. I think he has too much to apologize for.”

McCarthy argued that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill The Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' MORE (I-Vt.), who has trailed Biden in recent national polls, “has a much better chance” of winning the Democratic nomination. He noted that candidates need an energized base to sustain and fund their campaigns, saying Sanders “has a bigger base for a longer duration of the time."

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Bush, the former governor of Florida, entered the 2016 Republican presidential primary as a heavy favorite, given his high name recognition as the brother and son of two former presidents as well as his breadth of experience serving as the governor of a swing state.

But then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE repeatedly mocked him as “low energy” and the former governor's big-dollar campaign failed to break through the large GOP field. Bush dropped out of the race in February 2016 after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary.

Asked on Thursday about the presidential bid of his home-state senator, Democrat Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHouse to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE, McCarthy said he hoped that the first-term California senator would “accomplish something” and gain more experience in Congress before running for president.