The next Speaker of the House will not only have to rally restive GOP lawmakers, but strengthen the party for a presidential election that's "probably the most important since the Civil War," former Texas Republican Rep. Tom DeLay tells Newsmax TV
In an interview Friday with "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth, the former majority leader from 2003 to 2005 said Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee is likely considering the job — and that "most members will rally around him because they trust him."
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"You need a leader, someone they can rally people together … can get these seats reelected so they can hold on to the majority and set the tone and message for the presidential election to help whoever is running for president," he said.
"This election is probably the most important election since the Civil War."
Ryan now appears to be considering the job
in the wake of the abrupt withdrawal
of California Rep. Kevin McCarthy from consideration for House Speaker John Boehner's spot when he steps down at the end of the month.
"He's seeing it as maybe his duty," DeLay tells Newsmax TV. "He has small children and he really likes going home. He knows that if you take on the speaker's job it's really, really tough on your family… he's going to have to really think about this."
But DeLay noted the job of House Speaker is "as tough as it is being president."
"It is absolutely a grueling job," he says. "Frankly, you want somebody that wants to do the job even more so than somebody who is being dragged into the job."
DeLay also praised Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling as a worthy candidate, saying he "has the experience, has the knowledge, has served at the leadership table and has done an excellent job as chairman of the financial services committee."
"Certainly he can handle the job," DeLay says.
He added it would be unwise for House members to consider electing a mere "caretaker… because the next thing that will happen is it'll get even more fractious and more chaotic" – and dismissed speculation about the return of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
"There was a group of members that did the same thing to Newt as these members did to Boehner," DeLay points out. "They took him down. The reason was basically not that he lost votes, but that his management style was very suspect."
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