GOP frontrunner Donald Trump took credit for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropping out of the race for Speaker of the House to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) at the end of October.
“They’re giving me a lot of credit for that, because I said you really need somebody very, very tough and very smart — you know smart goes with tough, not just tough,” Trump touted during an event in Nevada. “I know tough people. They’re not smart, that’s the worst, OK? That’s the worst. You’ve gotta be smart.”
“But we need smart, we need tough, we need the whole package — you know, like me,” Trump added, according to The Hill.
Trump in fact did previously say McCarthy may not be tough enough to do the job.
“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,” Trump previously said during an interview. “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 wants the next Speaker to stand strong against President Obama on raising the debt ceiling.
“But Kevin is a nice guy, and I just hope now that they find somebody that’s going to be — you know, have those qualities where we can negotiate, where we can use that debt ceiling that’s coming up very rapidly and do something really, really significant,” stated Trump. “Because if we don’t, we’re gonna be — really we’re gonna be in very big trouble. We’re going to be in very, very big trouble.”
McCarthy dropped out of the race for House Speaker Thursday, leaving the Conference without holding a vote for a nomination. Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) are currently seeking the nomination.