On Wednesday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd weighed in on the upcoming battle for who will succeed Eric Cantor, who resigned earlier in the day as House Majority Leader.
Hewitt laid out the three candidates as Reps. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
In his resignation announcement, Cantor said he would be supporting McCarthy, to which Todd declared to be a “kiss of death” for the majority whip.
“By the way, Eric Cantor wholeheartedly endorsed McCarthy” Todd said. “I think that’s the kiss of death … I do, because I can tell you I think there is this sense of — we got to listen to the place here, they want some change. You know, I happen to believe immigration is a part of this but there is this aspect here that leadership is out of touch.”
As for who would prevail, Todd predicted Hensarling and said McCarthy was viewed as the status quo among his Republican colleagues.
“I’ll be surprised if it’s not Hensarling,” Todd said. “I think Hensarling has the credibility with rank-and-file conservatives. Look, I spent a lot of time on the Hill today just talking to the rank-and-file conservatives – you know, the folks that came in ’10. You know, clearly not establishment types.”
“All of them feel as if McCarthy is more of the same,” he added. “And that Hensarling is more grounded. You know, the leadership gets accused of being the Republicans that sort of say the right things to conservatives but then, you know, go tell us people in the mainstream media ‘what I really mean is this and I have to say x.’ Right? And you know, I think McCarthy has been tagged with that – fair or unfair. And that’s why I think Hensarling probably has the upper hand.”
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