Former Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday endorsed front-runner House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the race for Speaker of the House, calling the California Republican "a good man and a strong leader."
Cheney supported McCarthy in a statement reported by Politico.
He faces a challenge from two conservatives, Florida Rep. Daniel Webster and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, in the battle to succeed Speaker John Boehner, who steps down at the end of the month.
The House Republican Conference will vote on its nominee for speaker Thursday, with the full chamber voting on Oct. 29.
Here is Cheney's statement, which was released late Wednesday, according to Politico:
"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.
"I’ve known Kevin McCarthy for many years. He is a good man and a strong leader. 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. Kevin McCarthy is the man who can provide that leadership."
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