Former President Donald Trump has made another political endorsement of sorts, and it is surprising to some people.
In an interview with Breitbart News on Friday, Trump said he is backing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and is urging Republican rank-and-file members still not on board with the choice to get on board so the party can appear unified when they take over.
“I like him,” Trump said of McCarthy.
Trump did not name any GOP lawmaker who is opposed to McCarthy’s speakership, but a number of them are staunch supporters of the former president. He warned that if all members are not supportive of McCarthy, it will cause an early crisis and an unforced error at a time when the party needs to be unified.
“Trump warned that when conservatives took out now-former House Speaker John Boehner in 2015, they ended with now-former Speaker Paul Ryan—who he said was much worse—in the process,” Breitbart News reported.
Trump said: “I think it’s a very dangerous game that’s being played It’s a very dangerous game. Some bad things could happen.
“Look, we had Boehner, and he was a strange person, but we ended up with Paul Ryan, who was ten times worse. Paul Ryan was an incompetent speaker. I think he goes down as the worst speaker in history. We took [out] Boehner—and a group of people, some of whom are the same, and they’re very good friends of mine. All those people are very good friends of mine,” he added.
Breitbart noted further:
Trump is hardly the first major conservative leader to raise these concerns. Nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin has raised the concerns, as have people such as Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and James Comer (R-KY)—the incoming chairmen respectively of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. Congresswoman-elect Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, who just defeated outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), has also warned of the concerns.
Trump also expanded on the point of just how bad Ryan was for the party, saying Boehner was like a historic world leader in comparison, and now Republicans have to “live with this maniac” Ryan, who he said is hurting Fox News and the New York Post from his position on the board at the Fox Corporation.
“Think of it—we ended up with Paul Ryan. Boehner was like Winston Churchill compared to Paul Ryan,” Trump said. “Boehner wasn’t perfect—nobody’s perfect—but Paul Ryan was a disaster for the Republican Party. That’s what we got. Now we have to live with him. He’s destroying Fox and he’s destroying the New York Post. We got to live with this maniac.
“This guy, Paul Ryan, couldn’t have gotten elected in his own area of Wisconsin. I went with him after I won the election and we had a tremendous crowd of people and they booed him off the stage. You remember that? They booed him off the stage. This guy is now telling Fox what to do,” he said.
Trump added: “Yeah, I support McCarthy.”
“Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard,” Trump said. “He is just—it’s been exhausting. If you think, he’s been all over. I think he deserves the shot. Hopefully he’s going to be very strong and going to be very good and he’s going to do what everybody wants.”