Kevin McCarthy: Trump wants me to be speaker

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he and former President Donald Trump want to see each other in leadership positions helming GOP majorities in the near future.

McCarthy, who is often considered as a front-runner for the speakership if the GOP wins back the lower chamber in next year's midterm elections, says the former president wants to see him succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while the California Republican is pushing Trump to run for his old job.

"You know, I've talked to President Trump many times. He tells me he wants me to be speaker, and I think he should be president," McCarthy told Fox News's Brian Kilmeade on Friday.

TRUMP SAYS CONGRESSIONAL RUN TO BECOME SPEAKER AND IMPEACH BIDEN IS 'VERY INTERESTING' IDEA

Trump has frequently teased a 2024 presidential bid and expressed support for Republicans' goal of reclaiming the House in the 2022 midterm elections, announcing during remarks in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he won't start a new party because he's focused on electing Republicans.

"We're not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, 'He's gonna start a brand new party.' We have the Republican Party," he said. "It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party."

With speculation mounting that the party is fracturing into pro- and anti-Trump wings, McCarthy also defended another potential 2024 contender, former Vice President Mike Pence, from charges from the Right that he betrayed Trump by certifying President Joe Biden's victory on Jan. 6.

"Mike Pence is not a traitor," he said. "I just saw Mike Pence last week. Mike Pence served as, not only as a member of Congress which I served with him, one of the most conservative members. He was the governor of Indiana, and he was the vice president who stood right by President Trump, [who] helped him get through the tax reform [and] get those judges in presiding over the Senate as well. Mike Pence deserves a lot of credit."

On Friday, Pence was taunted as a "traitor" when he took the stage at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Orlando, Florida.

"It is great to be back with so many patriots dedicated to faith and freedom and the road to the majority," Pence said as he took the stage.

Moments later, a woman could be heard shouting "traitor," while others yelled "boo" as the crowd erupted during his remarks.

Though Trump and Pence enjoyed a close relationship during their term in office, with Pence shepherding through much of Trump's preferred policies in his role as president of the Senate, the latter acknowledged that the pair might never "see eye to eye on" the events of Jan. 6. While Trump said Pence lacked the "courage" to overturn the 2020 election results, Pence, who affirmed Biden's victory after a mob overtook the Capitol in an attempt to delay the certification, expressed a different view of the day's events.

"Jan. 6 was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured. And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States. President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office — and I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day," Pence said.

While Trump has kept a relatively low profile since leaving office, he has endorsed several political candidates ahead of the midterm elections, and he is expected to resume rallies in swing states such as Florida, Georgia, and Ohio.

"Relatively soon, we’ll be doing one in Florida. We’re gonna do one in Ohio. We’re gonna do one in Georgia. We’re gonna do one in North Carolina," he told One America News last month. "We’ll be announcing them very soon over the next week or two, and I think we’ll probably start in Florida and Ohio, and we’ll be announcing the rallies very shortly."

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A representative for McCarthy did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said McCarthy said Trump wanted to become speaker. A representative for McCarthy has since clarified that he said Trump hopes McCarthy will become speaker, and the misunderstanding was due to a technical error scrambling the leader's audio.

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Tags: News, Kevin McCarthy, Donald Trump, Campaigns, Congress, 2022 Elections, House of Representatives

Original Author: Carly Roman

Original Location: Kevin McCarthy: Trump wants me to be speaker

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