Ryan backs McCarthy for House GOP leadership role

Paul Ryan's Legacy of U.S. Debt and Deficit

Ryan ascended to the speakership during a tumultuous moment for House Republicans and was seen as the only person who could get the necessary votes for the job.

Paul Ryan publicly backed McCarthy in an interview saying he thinks he is the right person for the position.

On Wednesday, Ryan announced that he would not seek re-election to the House. "If and when there is a Speaker's race, colleagues have approached me about running and that's something I'm open to doing", Jordan said in an emailed statement on Friday to Reuters. When former House Speaker John Boehner resigned, all eyes were on the California Republican.

Ryan went on to say: "I fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next Speaker of the House after this term, and I think Kevin's the right guy to step up".

Ryan's endorsement, however, gives McCarthy an edge in the leadership contest.

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Neither McCarthy nor Scalise have yet declared their intentions, though both men have been jockeying behind the scenes for the top spot in the House GOP conference.

Ryan said his decision to retire was not motivated by political factors.

To become the next speaker, McCarthy must win the majority of votes in the chamber, where Republicans now have a majority.

During the White House press briefing Friday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to formally announce who President Donald Trump would support, although she noted that Trump had a "great relationship with Kevin McCarthy".

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