Former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Sunday failed to give former President Donald Trump his endorsement when NBC News anchor Kristen Welker pressed the California lawmaker on the issue.
“Let me just ask you this quite simply, why haven’t you endorsed him yet?” Welker asked McCarthy.
The former speaker responded, saying the campaign is still ongoing and that there “is a very good chance” he would endorse the former president. Welker then asked McCarthy why he is delaying his endorsement given that Trump is the GOP’s front runner.
“Well, I believe—well, you know what? Because I’ve got a southern border wide open, I’ve got war in the Middle East, I’ve got things I’m focused on right now. I believe President Trump will be our nominee and I believe President Trump will get re-elected. Think about what Biden has done,” McCarthy said before adding that President Joe Biden’s leadership has brought chaos.
The former speaker also declined to confirm he was still a MAGA Republican when Welker pressed him further on his support for Trump.
“You know what, I am a conservative Republican from the beginning to the end and that’s what I’ve always been. You can try to phrase different names to people, but I’m proud of who I am,” McCarthy responded.
McCarthy’s reluctance to endorse Trump is even more surprising given that the former president endorsed the California lawmaker during his controversial bid to become speaker earlier this year.
Trump has endorsed McCarthy for speaker, concerned about what could happen if the Gang of 5 give an opening to the Democratshttps://t.co/FKpKUtqMA6
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) December 17, 2022
“I support McCarthy,” Trump said in January. “Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard. He is just—it’s been exhausting. If you think, he’s been all over. I think he deserves the shot. Hopefully he’s going to be very strong and going to be very good and he’s going to do what everybody wants.”
Trump is the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination. The former president is leading the Gop race with 56% of support as of Saturday. Trump’s closest rival for the GOP presidential ticket is Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis who is currently polling at 13.7%.