Paul Ryan endorses Kevin McCarthy

Paul Ryan endorses Kevin McCarthy

WASHINGTON-House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as leader of the House Republicans when he retires.

"I think Kevin is the right guy to step up", Ryan says in the interview that will air Sunday. His endorsement of McCarthy may help head off a battle between his subordinates over the top post.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he wants to see House Majority Kevin McCarthy take over as House speaker.

McCarthy would still to need lock up 218 votes to secure the Speakership if the GOP retains control of the House in November, or if Republicans decide to elect a Speaker before the midterms. McCarthy said at the time that he didn't have enough support to effectively preside over the GOP conference.

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On Wednesday, Ryan announced that he would not seek re-election to the House. He and McCarthy are expected to wage a furious effort to raise campaign funds for fellow House Republicans to shore up support for their potential leadership aspirations.

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and prominent member of the libertarian-leaning House Freedom Caucus, has also said he was open to becoming speaker.

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The group of roughly 30 conservative hard-liners is an influential voting bloc in Congress.

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