Politics

McCarthy doubles down on support for Trump but says 2024 campaign ‘can’t be about revenge’

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has doubled down on his support for former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race, even as he cautioned Trump against making his reelection bid all about “revenge.”

“Yes,” McCarthy said when asked if Trump could count on his support during a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday on “CBS Sunday Morning.” Pressed on whether that was an official endorsement of Trump, McCarthy chuckled and responded, “I will support the president. I will support President Trump.”

In an interview with CNN last month, McCarthy said he supported the former president but stressed that he had not endorsed anyone. “I haven’t endorsed, but I support President Trump,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.

CNN has reached out to McCarthy for clarification on whether he is endorsing Trump.

Trump has dominated the GOP presidential primary to this point. A recent Wall Street Journal poll found the former president with 59% support among potential Republican primary voters nationally, with former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis effectively tied for a distant second place, at 15% and 14% respectively.

That’s similar to other recent polling on the Republican primary, with most surveys giving Trump majority support among the potential GOP electorate nationally.

Democrats and GOP opponents of Trump have sought to cast him as a danger to democracy should he capture the White House again, pointing to Trump’s rhetoric about “retribution” and a series of policy proposals that would expand presidential authority over even nonpolitical levers of the federal government.

While Trump has dismissed the criticism, McCarthy told CBS the former president needs to stop focusing on retribution against his perceived enemies should he end up back in the White House.

“It can’t be about revenge,” McCarthy said of the reelection. America, he stressed, “doesn’t want to see the idea of retribution.”

“Look, I lost the job as speaker. Maybe I don’t have the best advice. I know one thing is I love this country. I want tomorrow to be better than today and I’m going to do everything in my power and be engaged in the process to make it better,” he said.

Asked whether he would serve in a potential future Trump cabinet, McCarthy said he remained open to the possibility.

“In the right position. Look, if I’m the best person for the job – yes. Look, I worked with President Trump on a lot of policies. We worked together to win the majority, but we also have a relationship where we’re very honest with one another,” he said.

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