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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 RyanRevising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices Paul Ryan will attend Biden's inauguration COVID-19 relief bill: A promising first act for immigration reform MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday signaled support for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Democrats seize on GOP donor fallout MORE (R-Calif.) as his successor. 

Ryan did so by saying that he was pleased that Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' Scalise labels Capitol rioting 'domestic terrorism' Tensions flare between House Republicans, Capitol Police over metal detectors 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 CantorCan the GOP break its addiction to show biz? Leaving on a high note: Outgoing NRCC head looks to build on 2020 Overnight Defense: US sanctions NATO ally Turkey over Russian defense system | Veterans groups, top Democrats call for Wilkie's resignation | Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon board 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 PriceFocus on cabinet nominees' effectiveness and expertise, not just ideology Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Chris Christie MORE (R-Ga.) over Scalise in a short-lived campaign for majority leader in the leadership shake-up following Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCan the GOP break its addiction to show biz? House conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney Ex-Speaker Boehner after Capitol violence: 'The GOP must awaken' MORE's (R-Ohio) resignation in October 2015.

Melanie Zanona contributed.