The Obama administration reiterated Monday that it will not endorse or pull for any specific candidate seeking to succeed House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and said doing so would only hurt the candidate's cause.
"[A]ny attempt to try to influence the outcome of that election by the president of the United States would have the opposite of the intended affect, and so that's why the president and nobody else here at the White House is — [we're] certainly interested in what's going on; but we're not pulling for anybody," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Earnest also said the administration is not worried that in the absence of a clear front-runner to replace Boehner, a hard-liner candidate will prevail.
"I think some of the people that you are referring to are not particularly likely to be speaker of the House," he said, indirectly referencing lawmakers such as Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla. "So I don't lose a lot of sleep on that," he added.
"We're interested to see how Republicans reconcile the significant divisions within their party to try to stitch together the kind of leadership structure that will allow the basic functions of government to continue," Earnest continued. "That certainly is not the kind of ambition that you would expect to see from a party that has strong majorities in both the House and the Senate, but it's the situation that we're dealing with right now."