House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wouldn’t say Wednesday whether he would endorse former President Donald Trump’s latest White House run.
McCarthy’s refusal came one day after the 76-year-old former commander in chief announced his 2024 bid.
“You guys are crazy,” McCarthy told reporters when asked if he had plans to back Trump.
“I thought he gave a great speech,” McCarthy said about Trump’s Tuesday night Mar-a-Lago spectacle.
The California Republican fended off a challenge by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) to win the House GOP’s nomination to be speaker of the House just hours before Trump’s announcement.
Both McCarthy and Trump have come under fire by many in the GOP after the party’s worse than expected performance in the midterm elections. Republicans failed to gain control of the Senate and only clinched control of the House on Wednesday, and, so far, hold the majority by only one seat.
McCarthy was supportive of Trump during his presidency but blasted the 45th president after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The House minority leader told colleagues that he would recommend Trump’s resignation after the violent incident, publicly saying on the House floor that Trump “bears responsibility” for the mayhem.
McCarthy must receive at least 218 votes from the full House in January in order to become speaker.
The last GOP speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has lambasted Trump as “drag” on the party, and he said on Wednesday that anybody “not named Trump” could beat President Biden in 2024.[via]