Kevin McCarthy urges GOP lawmakers to unify behind his bid for House speaker
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced Wednesday he would not run for re-election, is holding an emergency caucus meeting Friday.
House Speaker Paul Ryan held a closed-door meeting Wednesday, amid speculation that he would challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Republican primary. | Getty
House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for the GOP to unify behind his bid for House Speaker and has even pledged to help in the leadership campaign.
“We’ve got a message to the country and to Washington: We’re going to have a Speaker of the House,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday after taking questions from reporters. “And the key to that is: We can’t be divided. We don’t stand for this — we need to stand for this.”
He argued that House Republicans are united behind him and has pledged to help in the leadership campaign.
“I would say, we’re united in principle, we’re united in the House, we’re united in our party values,” Ryan said. “We just want to get our message across.”
But House Republicans have so far shown no signs of unity.
Multiple GOP lawmakers — including leadership committee chairmen, members of high-ranking committees and even a few who back Ryan — have said in recent weeks that they oppose his re-nomination. And several committee chairmen have said they oppose leadership running a competitive campaign against him in 2019.
Others have said they want a leader who they can partner with in order to push forward some of their priorities.
“I think you’re going to see him nominated by members who share that belief that we need somebody who’s going to lead this group forward,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told the Washington Post. “That’s why I think he’s going to be nominated. He’s not going to be nominated by a lot of the people on our side.”
Ryan’s aides say he will announce his decision Thursday about where he will run for Speaker to “make sure he’s