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Boehner dismisses far-right replacement for Ryan: ‘They know they can’t win’

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Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a new interview dismissed the possibility that a member of the deeply conservative House Freedom Caucus could replace Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who announced his retirement on Wednesday.

“They know they can’t win,” Boehner told The Columbus Dispatch. “So I’m sure that’s not going to happen.”

{mosads}Boehner, who retired from Congress in October of 2015, said he thinks House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is “in the No. 1 spot” to succeed Ryan. McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) are both viewed as leading contenders for the speakership if Republicans keep the House in November’s midterm elections.

Meanwhile, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that the race for Ryan’s replacement will be “decided” before the November midterms.

Ryan on Wednesday announced he would retire form Congress at the end of his current term, a decision that comes as House Republicans face a tough fight to retain control of the chamber.

“If I am here for one more term my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can’t let that happen. So I will be setting new priorities in my life,” said Ryan.

Boehner in a statement on Ryan’s retirement commended the Speaker for his work on budgets and tax reform. 

“I admire Paul for his service, appreciate his friendship, and look forward to spending some time with him as a private citizen in the not-too-distant future,” Boehner said.

Tags Boehner House Freedom Caucus House Speaker John Boehner Kevin McCarthy Mark Meadows Paul Ryan Speakership Steve Scalise
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