U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA,23) pulled himself out of the race to replace House Speaker John Boehner. McCarthy apparently thought the divisiveness in his party would be too much for him to handle.
"I have the deepest respect and regard for each member of the conference and our team as a whole," McCarthy said in announcing his decision Thursday. "It is imperative for us to unite and work together on the challenges facing our country.
"Over the last week it has become clear to me that our conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader," he went on to say. "I have always put this conference ahead of myself. Therefore I am withdrawing my candidacy for speaker of the House. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to help move our conference's agenda and our country forward."
McCarthy, the presumed frontrunner, has been been dogged in recent days over his comments about the formation of the Benghazi committee investigating former secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In an interview on Fox News last week, McCarthy stated that the committee was formed as a means to damage Clinton's presidential run. According to the New York Times, McCarthy said the fallout that occurred after his statement played a part in his decision to withdraw from the race.