President Donald Trump isn’t planning on getting further involved in the race among Republicans to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
It’s nearly been three weeks since eight Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), joined with House Democrats to boot Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the speaker’s office.
Since then, Republicans have been in disarray trying to find a new speaker to take his place.
Initially, they nominated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) for the job, despite concerns among some Republicans that his recent cancer diagnosis would interfere with his ability to perform the duties of the office. After a few days of trying to rally support for himself, Mr. Scalise conceded defeat, and withdraw his name from the running.
Following his withdrawal, Republicans voted in a deeply-divided 124–81 vote to nominate House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for the gavel. Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who had done no campaigning and announced his bid just moments before the vote, received nearly 40 percent of the vote.
Last week, Republicans voted by secret ballot to revoke their nomination of Mr. Jordan for the top spot in the House after Mr. Jordan failed to come close to the necessary 217-vote threshold needed to become speaker.
Now, Republicans are back to the drawing board, with a candidate forum scheduled as the mainline event at an Oct. 23 conference meeting on Capitol Hill.
Nine Republicans have announced that they’re seeking the gavel.
These include Mr. Scott, Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.).
‘Trying to Stay Out of That’
President Trump, who earlier endorsed Mr. Jordan for the speakership, now says he’s not planning on making any endorsements among these nine contenders, saying he’s “trying to stay out” of the race for the gavel.
Specifically, President Trump said that he had been reached out to by Mr. Emmer for his support.
Having won the support of Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Emmer is seen as a frontrunner for the job. But the powerful endorsement of President Trump, which could bring right-wing Republicans along with it, doesn’t seem likely to materialize for Mr. Emmer.
President Trump made the comments while speaking to reporters on Oct. 23 during an appearance in Concord, New Hampshire.
“Will you endorse Emmer?” a reporter asked. “He hasn’t always been your biggest fan.”
President Trump replied jokingly, saying, “He’s my biggest fan now because he called me yesterday and told me he’s my biggest fan.”
But still, President Trump said he’s not planning on endorsing Mr. Emmer or anyone else after the fall of his pick for the top spot in the House.
“I’m trying to stay out of that as much as possible,” President Trump said.
Even if he did receive the former president’s endorsement, it’s unclear if Mr. Emmer will be able to overcome right-wing concerns about his candidacy, particularly as many right-wing Republicans remain frustrated by the failure of Mr. Jordan’s bid.
From The Epoch Times