Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said in an interview airing Sunday that he’s on board with the idea of a House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
In a clip set to air on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Josh Dickerson asked the real estate mogul what he thought of Ryan’s prospects for the job. House Republicans have been clamoring for Ryan to step up to the plate since House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) abruptly withdrew his name from consideration for the speakership on Thursday.
“I think he’s somebody that could get good support,” Trump said. “I think he’s a very nice person. I think he doesn’t want it very badly but you never know. Maybe he’s playing one of the great games of all time.”
Trump predicted that Ryan would take over the speakership if it was offered to him. He added that he’d personally be “okay” with Ryan as speaker, even though he disagrees with the congressman’s position on entitlement programs. The Wisconsin Republican has repeatedly denied that he’s considering taking the job.
The billionaire also took some credit for McCarthy dropping out of the speaker’s race.
“I’ve been taking a little bit of credit because people have been giving me credit on @realdonaldtrump,” he said. “They’re saying that I spoke up against him only because it’s a question of toughness. We need toughness. We need the brain power and we need toughness.”
Trump then went further than his previous statement in criticizing McCarthy for taking pride in the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s political gains.
“That was a really bad statement for Republicans and even for the nation in a sense because he so disparaged what’s going on,” he said. “I happen to believe that what they’re doing is the right thing and they’re doing it for the right reason.”