Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has officially pledged his fealty to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election — despite some concerns about Trump’s messaging.
“What President Trump needs to do in this campaign, it needs to be about rebuilding, restoring, renewing America. It can’t be about revenge,” McCarthy said during an interview with CBS’ Robert Costa that aired Sunday.
“He’s talking about retribution, day in, day out,” Costa pointed out.
“He needs to stop that,” McCarthy responded, adding later that he expects Trump “adapt” when he “gets all the facts.”
But Trump’s calls for vengeance don’t line up with what voters want, according to McCarthy.
“America doesn’t want to see the idea of retribution,” he said. “If it’s rebuild, restore and renew, then I think you’ll see that.”
McCarthy announced last week that plans to leave Congress by the end of December after a year that saw him win the long-coveted job of speaker only to be ousted in October.
Though Trump pulled for McCarthy during his lengthy speakership bid in January, he was silent when eight hard-core members of McCarthy’s caucus voted him out in the fall. But McCarthy, who came to Trump’s side at Mar-a-Lago in 2021 after initially condemning the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, will still ride the Trump train in 2024.
“I’m not gonna stop giving him the advice. And look, I lost the job of Speaker. Maybe I don’t have the best advice,” McCarthy said. “But I know one thing is: I love this country. I want tomorrow to be better than today. And I’m gonna do everything in my power, and I’m gonna be engaged in the process to make it better.”
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