On Tuesday (June 27) morning, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) questioned whether former President Donald Trump would be the strongest Republican candidate to face President Joe Biden in the 2024 race, despite expressing confidence that Trump could beat Biden.
Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” McCarthy queried, “Can [Trump] win that election? Yeah, he can.”
He then asked a follow-up question about whether Trump “is the strongest to win the election?” answering his question by saying he didn’t know the answer to that.
According to McCarthy, the President would be a weak candidate in the 2024 election, simultaneously stating that Biden could defeat his competitors
The House Speaker asked if there was anyone who could defeat Biden, responding that anyone has the potential to beat him.
McCarthy then queried if Biden could beat his opponents, replying yes and suggesting the outcome relied “on any given day.”
Joe Kernen, co-host of “Squawk Box,” highlighted how Trump’s legal woes complicate his candidacy.
Currently, Trump is facing indictments over his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the Oval Office in 2021 and felony charges for a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Some on the right expressed disapproval over McCarthy’s comments, with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon sharing on “War Room” that supporting McCarthy as Speaker was a mistake on Trump’s part.
Hours later, McCarthy attempted to clarify his comments on Breitbart News.
In his Breitbart statements, the Speaker claimed that Trump is “stronger today than he was in 2016” and emphasized that the former President is “Biden’s strongest political opponent,” citing Trump’s Polling figures.
McCarthy blamed the media for the uproar over his comments, suggesting they are “attempting to drive a wedge between President Trump and House Republicans,” highlighting that it came at a time when GOP-led committees were pursuing Biden’s DOJ, in an attempt to hold them to account “for their two-tiered levels of justice.”
However, McCarthy’s backtracking still didn’t calm his critics. Instead, they highlighted that earlier, the House Speaker had suggested Trump wouldn’t be the strongest GOP contender, notable since the Speaker has remained to the former President.
Furthermore, McCarthy hasn’t endorsed any presidential candidate yet, though he has expressed the possibility of doing so in the future.