McCarthy, who clinched the speakership after 15 votes in January, was ousted from his position in October after hard-right conservatives lodged an effort to displace him. They publicly said that his work with Democrats to keep the government open defied a deal over how Republicans would approach negotiating the budget. And Trump, who still looms large over a prominent group of populist conservatives in the House, did little to stave off the effort in McCarthy’s hour of need.
And McCarthy didn’t even ask for his help.
The pair have had a tumultuous relationship for years, from McCarthy expressing that Trump bore responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol to him appearing at the former president’s side weeks later in a renewed endorsement. And now, McCarthy appears ready to ride by Trump’s side as 2024 arrives, while other Republicans on the Hill brace for another Trump presidency. Other contenders in the GOP primary race have failed to gain meaningful traction in a race that Trump has dominated.
In another sign of warmth towards the former president, the California Republican also said that he would serve in a Trump cabinet — if he gets a good spot.
“In the right position, if I am the best person for the job, yes,” McCarthy said. “I worked with President Trump on a lot of policy. We worked together to win the majority.”
The Trump campaign, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, released a forcefully worded statement on Friday that allies should not speculate about potential administration appointments. That message was released in apparent response to media reports that Trump was poised to pick an array of far-right voices to prominent positions in a second administration.
“People publicly discussing potential administration jobs for themselves or their friends are, in fact, hurting President Trump … and themselves,” the campaign said in a statement on Friday. “These are an unwelcomed distraction.”