Despite a long-standing alliance with former President Donald Trump, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s support for him wavered during a Tuesday interview.
In an interview with CNBC, McCarthy questioned whether Trump is the right candidate for a general election in 2024.
He initially asserted Trump would have no problem beating current President Joe Biden.
“Yeah, he can beat Biden,” said McCarthy, saying that “Trump’s policies are better, straightforward than Biden’s policies.”
But when specifically asked if Trump is the best candidate to win a general election, McCarthy hesitated.
“Can he win that election? Yeah, he can,” McCarthy said. “The question is is he the strongest to win the election? I don’t know that answer. But can somebody, can anybody, beat Biden? Yeah, anybody can beat Biden.”
He did not offer up an alternative candidate or speculate as to which of those currently announced would be the strongest in a general election besides Trump.
McCarthy Fundraises Hours Later
Just hours after his comments were highlighted by Trump defenders on social media, McCarthy gave a follow-up interview to Breitbart.
“As usual, the media is attempting to drive a wedge between President Trump and House Republicans as our committees are holding Biden’s DOJ accountable for their two-tiered levels of justice,” McCarthy said in comments to the website. “The only reason Biden is using his weaponized federal government to go after President Trump is because he is Biden’s strongest political opponent, as polling continues to show.”
Shortly after those comments were published, McCarthy’s campaign sent a fundraising text to supporters declaring Trump “the STRONGEST opponent to Biden!”
McCarthy’s lapse in support was noted as he has been a staunch defender of the former president, recently backing a proposal from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to informally “expunge” both of Trump’s impeachments.
“I voted against both impeachments. The second impeachment had no due process,” McCarthy said of his support for Greene’s proposal.