Former Vice President Dick Cheney is endorsing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be the next Speaker of the House, saying Mr. McCarthy is the right person to be the next speaker in “dangerous and important times.”
“We are in one of the most difficult and challenging periods of our history. It is more important than ever that we have strong conservative leadership in the House of Representatives,” Mr. Cheney said in a statement, first reported by Politico Wednesday evening.
“I’ve known Kevin McCarthy for many years. He is a good man and a strong leader,” Mr. Cheney said. “As a man of the House and a former member of the House leadership, I know that Kevin McCarthy is the person we need as speaker in these dangerous and important times. Chaos is on the rise abroad. Russia is exploiting this administration’s weakness, radical Islam is gaining strength, the Middle East is falling apart, and China is asserting its authority in the absence of American strength. The Obama administration has done enormous damage to our military capability and to our relationships with key allies around the world.”
“Especially when the president refuses to lead, Congress needs to step up to provide for our national defense in support of American power,” he said. “Kevin McCarthy is the man who can provide that leadership.”
The support from the former vice president comes as House Republicans prepare to vote in a secret ballot Thursday for their choice to replace Speaker John A. Boehner, who is leaving Congress at the end of the month.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a bloc of conservative Republicans, indicated Wednesday they intend to support Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida for speaker, meaning that even if Mr. McCarthy wins a majority of Republican support Thursday, he could be initially denied the 218 votes needed to win the job during a scheduled floor vote Oct. 29.