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 RyanFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday signaled support for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySteve King spins GOP punishment into political weapon Steve King asks for Congressional Record correction over white supremacist quote Steve King urges supporters to pray for his committee assignments to be restored: report MORE (R-Calif.) as his successor. 

Ryan did so by saying that he was pleased that Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Texas man with politician hit list, illegally 3D printed rifle sentenced to eight years The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? 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 CantorPelosi warns GOP: Next president could declare national emergency on guns Ousted GOP lawmaker David Brat named dean at Liberty University business school Trump, GOP seek to shift blame for shutdown to Pelosi 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 PriceIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? Former Ryan aide moves to K street Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices MORE (R-Ga.) over Scalise in a short-lived campaign for majority leader in the leadership shake-up following Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerEx-GOP lawmaker joins marijuana trade group Crowley, Shuster moving to K Street On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE's (R-Ohio) resignation in October 2015.

Melanie Zanona contributed.