Ted Cruz declines to crow about Kevin McCarthy's exit from speaker's race

Kevin McCarthy: I feel good about decision to drop out
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Story highlights

  • Sen. Ted Cruz declined to crow about Thursday's shocking withdrawal of Kevin McCarthy as a candidate for House speaker
  • "I hope the next speaker will listen to the voters, and stop behaving like an arm of the Democratic Party," Cruz told a Boston radio host

Washington (CNN)Sen. Ted Cruz declined to crow about Kevin McCarthy's surprise withdrawal on Thursday as a candidate for House speaker and refused to name whom he'd wish to replace John Boehner, who retires at the end of this month.

Cruz, who holds significant influence with House conservatives and has spurred them to stymie Boehner's budget negotiations with Democrats, did not take the bait when asked who the House Republicans should now support.
"I hope the next speaker will listen to the voters, and stop behaving like an arm of the Democratic Party," Cruz told Boston radio host Jeff Kuhner about three hours after McCarthy's announcement.
    The presidential candidate has said over the past week that he likes McCarthy personally, despite him being a current member of the Republican leadership that Cruz has portrayed as spineless and too appeasing of the White House.
    Cruz hasn't always been so charitable. After Boehner announced that he would resign, Cruz gleefully danced on Boehner's grave at a high-profile conference with Christian conservative voters.
    "Y'all come to town and somehow that changes. My only request is can you come more often?" he said to laughs then, later alleging to reporters that Boehner had only agreed to resign as part of a deal with House Democrats.