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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 RyanElection Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout Will the Federal Reserve make a mistake by shifting to inflation? Sanders: Democrats ‘absolutely’ have chance to win back rural America  MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday signaled support for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP lawmaker proposes legislative maneuver to fund Trump's border wall Maxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — GOP faces ‘green wave’ in final stretch to the midterms MORE (R-Calif.) as his successor. 

Ryan did so by saying that he was pleased that Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseScalise: Trump was 'clearly ribbing' Gianforte with remarks on body-slamming reporter GOP candidate says he chose bad 'metaphor' with face-stomping comments Democrats must end mob rule 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 CantorTrump gives Dave Brat his 'total endorsement' Former TV journalist gives GOP rare dose of hope in Florida Dave Brat trailing in reelection bid 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 PriceGOP on timing of Haley’s announcement: 'Unusual' and 'odd' Watchdog calls for investigation into Haley flights White House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief: report MORE (R-Ga.) over Scalise in a short-lived campaign for majority leader in the leadership shake-up following Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouston Chronicle endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — House postpones Rosenstein meeting | Trump hits Dems over Medicare for all | Hurricane Michael nears landfall Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger MORE's (R-Ohio) resignation in October 2015.

Melanie Zanona contributed.