Paul Ryan just endorsed the man he wants to become his successor

House Majority Leader Kevin Mc Carthy speaks next to House Speaker Paul Ryan at a news conference with Republican leaders after

"We all think that Kevin is the right person", Ryan said to NBC's Meet the Press in an interview excerpt released Friday and set to air in full Sunday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., endorsed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for speaker Friday, a move likely meant to clear the field and make way for his top deputy. McCarthy is one of two men seen as leading contenders for the spot; the other is Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana conservative who gained national attention after he was shot and seriously wounded at a congressional baseball practice last summer.

The California representative has not officially announced his intentions to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan-who announced he would resign at the end of the year. His endorsement of McCarthy may help head off a battle between his subordinates over the top post. He his support behind his current deputy, House Republican leader McCarthy of California, to take over as House speaker. But ultimately the majority leader couldn't build the consensus he needed to win the speaker's race.

Jordan said his main goal, as he considers running, is to get party leaders to stick to a conservative agenda. On Friday, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters he'd be interested in exploring a run for Speaker.

Ryan has pledged to remain Speaker until the conclusion of the 115th Congress next January. Scalise apologized and said he'd been unaware of the group's racial views.

"Given the extraordinary fracture that exists in the Republican caucus between the more normal Republicans and the Freedom Caucus, it's almost an impossible task", Gramendi told Cheddar Friday.

"I fully expect to hand the gavel over to the next Speaker of the House after this term and I think Kevin is the right guy to step up", Ryan said.

If Democrats gain seats as expected in the November elections, Republican losses likely will fall most heavily among moderates representing swing districts. Scalise has said publicly that he would not run against McCarthy.

At issue is a resurgent move by conservative Republicans to rescind or cut about $60 billion in non-defence domestic spending increases that were key to winning Democratic votes.

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