GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is swinging at two fellow Republicans – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and fellow GOP candidate Dr. Ben Carson – saying neither is a “tough negotiator.”
CNN reports that Trump said that McCarthy, who is running to replace Speaker of the House John Boehner after he resigns at the end of the month, wouldn’t make a good Speaker of the House.
“I would like to see someone that’s very tough and that can negotiate with the Democrats, and I don’t know that he’s that person,” explained Trump. “We need somebody that’s a very, very tough, smart, cunning person. I don’t know that that’s him, and obviously this statement hurt him pretty badly in the eyes of some, unfortunately.”
Trump was referring to McCarthy’s statement regarding the House Select Committee on Benghazi, saying the committee has damaged Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. McCarthy’s statement created controversy, as some Republicans countered that hurting Clinton’s poll numbers wasn’t why the Select Committee on Benghazi was formed.
Trump suggested that McCarthy’s statement could be “taken both ways,” but Democrats and Clinton are “running with it” to damage Republicans.
“Certainly he’s not off to a great start,” said Trump. “I watched that (comment), actually, and I was a little surprised by it. … It would have been nice if he didn’t say it, certainly, because then there would be no dispute.”
Trump also criticized Carson on his negotiating ability, but at the same time complementing Carson, suggesting there would be a place in Trump’s administration for Carson if he were to win.
When asked if Trump would put Carson in his Cabinet, he said “absolutely.”
“I would put him — I’d love to have that,” Trump said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Trump said he’s a “nice man” and that him and Carson have a “very good relationship.” Trump added that Carson is “qualified” to be the Republican Party nominee, but that Trump would do a better job.
He hinted that Carson wouldn’t be the best negotiator.
“I would say it’s not his wheelhouse, but that I don’t know,” Trump stated. “Certain elements of the administration, I think he’d be very good.”
While Trump is highlighting his ability to negotiate, Carson continues to stress his advantage as a political outsider on the campaign trail.
“I really don’t care that much about political parties,” Carson said Friday. “That’s probably why the establishment from both political parties don’t like me that much. But it’s ok, I don’t really care about that.”