Trump endorses Jim Jordan as House Speaker vote approaches – live

McCarthy hits back after Matt Gaetz-led coup to oust him

Donald Trump has endorsed Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) for speaker in the race against Reps Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Kevin Hern (R-OK).

“He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Mr Trump wrote about Mr Jordan on Truth Social in the early hours of Friday.

Mr Trump went on to praise Mr Jordan both for his record as a legislator and his achievements as a college wrestler.

If elected, Mr Jordan, the founder of the House Freedom Caucus would be one of the most rightwing members to be speaker in recent history.

Both Mr Jordan and Mr Scalise, the majority leader under the speakership of the recently ousted Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), have racked up support for their bids, but it remains unclear if either of them will be able to reach the required 218 votes to grasp the gavel.

While Mr Jordan has endorsed Mr Trump in his race for president, Mr Scalise has so far declined to do so.

Fox News is set to hold a televised debate with the speaker candidates on Monday.


Jim Jordan

When asked by reporters if he is entering the race, the Donald Trump ally and man who has spent over 500 days ignoring a subpoena to testify about his actions on the day of the January 6 Capitol riot responded with a firm “YES”.

As one of the staunchest members of the far-right, MAGA arm of the Republican party, Mr Jordan is known for founding the right-wing Freedom Caucus in 2015.

He continues to serve as chairman of what has become known as the most right-wing caucus in the GOP party, with a record that includes trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act multiple times.

Following Mr Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, Mr Jordan played a key role in efforts to overturn the results – and for the former president to stay in power against the will of the American people.

He is known to have taken part in meetings with the former president where they made plans to fight the election results including one meeting at Trump campaign headquarters in November 2020 and another at the White House that December.

He has also admitted that he and Mr Trump spoke on the day of the January 6 Capitol riot – but refuses to reveal the nature of the calls.

Even faced with a subpoena, he refused to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection and so many questions remain unanswered to this day about his actions on and around that day.

Despite his controversies, he has risen up the GOP ranks in recent years with Mr McCarthy making him chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee back in February.

While he has a history of vehemently opposing bipartisanship, Mr Jordan also appears unlikely to be able to secure enough votes from within his own party to win the speakership.

One prominent example of his standing in Republican circles comes from an iconic quote from former House Speaker John Boehner, who labelled Mr Jordan a “legislative terrorist”.

On Friday morning, Donald Trump announced he was endorsing Mr Jordan as the next speaker.

“Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, DC, representing Ohio’s 4th Congressional District,” he wrote on Truth Social site.

“He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”

Rachel Sharp6 October 2023 16:30


Steve Scalise

A man emerging as a possible frontrunner is Steve Scalise, who currently serves as House majority leader – the number two among House Republicans.

The Louisiana congressman was tipped as a possible challenger to Mr McCarthy back in January, but he refused to compete against him at the time.

Now that Mr McCarthy is out, Mr Scalise has announced that he’s running.

In a letter to colleagues on Wednesday 4 October, he referenced being shot at a 2017 congressional baseball practice, writing, “I firmly believe this Conference is a family. When I was shot in 2017, it was Members of this Conference who saved my life on that field. When I made it to the hospital and my family was told my chances of surviving were low, it was the prayers from all of you that carried us through”.

“You know my leadership style I’ve displayed as your Majority Leader and Whip. I have a proven track record of bringing together the diverse array of viewpoints within our Conference to build consensus where others thought it impossible,” he added.

Before he announced, Mr Scalise said on Tuesday night that “clearly within our conference, we have a very tight majority. Getting things done is going to be difficult in the tight majority. It still will be so no matter who’s going to be the next speaker, the challenges still remain, but I think the opportunity is there to continue moving forward”.

When asked if he is physically up to the job – after several health issues including battles with blood cancer and injuries from the baseball practice shooting in Virginia – he insisted: “I feel great.”

Mr Gaetz – whose rebellion has led the House into its current turmoil – also floated Mr Scalise as the next speaker on Tuesday night.

“I think the world of Steve Scalise, I think he’d make a phenomenal speaker,” he said. “He’d be the type of person that I could see myself supporting. There are many people, though.”

Mr Scalise is not without his controversies, having come under fire after it emerged he gave a speech to a white supremacist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke in 2002.

Rachel Sharp6 October 2023 16:00


Who will replace ousted Kevin McCarthy as the new House speaker?

The Florida congressman’s fate was sealed by his own warring party, as eight Republicans joined Democrats to vote to remove him from the speakership.

Mr McCarthy had grown increasingly at odds with the far-right wing of the party – notably lead rebel and MAGA Republican Matt Gaetz.

Mr Gaetz had filed a motion to vacate the speaker in outrage that Mr McCarthy struck a deal with Democrats to avert a government shutdown – one that could have temporarily shuttered key services for American people and furloughed federal workers.

After Democrats declined to bail out the speaker and members of his own party turned on him, Mr McCarthy was removed in a 216-210 vote to vacate on Tuesday night – marking the first time in American history that a speaker has been ousted by other lawmakers.

Now, the House has been left in turmoil – with no leader at a time when the US is once again careening towards a government shutdown.

So who will be his successor?

Rachel Sharp6 October 2023 15:30


Trump endorses MAGA Republican Jim Jordan for House speaker

“Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, DC, representing Ohio’s 4th Congressional District,” Mr Trump wrote on his Truth Social site.

“He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”

Before Mr Trump’s announcement, Texas representative Troy Nehls had already said on Thursday night that the former president had decided to back Mr Jordan‘s bid.

Stuti Mishra, Rachel Sharp6 October 2023 15:00


Eric Trump claims Donald will need a ‘bigger gavel’ if he becomes speaker

The son of the former president said told Newsmax it would be “the coolest damn thing in the entire world” if his father were to replace Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives after he was ousted on Tuesday in a historic move.

“I would make sure he got a bigger gavel than the small little one that they have,” he said, adding that ideally it would be a “huge gavel.”

It comes as House members are scrambling to find a new speaker, with no obvious replacement for Mr McCarthy.

While some Republicans have said they will renominate Mr McCarthy for speaker, other far-right Republican lawmakers including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz have called for Donald Trump to become the next House speaker.

Martha McHardy6 October 2023 14:28


McCarthy ‘second-worst speaker of my lifetime’ behind only ‘a literal child molester,’ MSNBC host writes

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote in an opinion piece for the network’s site that “personally, I consider McCarthy to be the second-worst speaker of my lifetime — and that’s only because Republican Dennis Hastert, who served as House speaker from 1999 to 2007, turned out to be a literal child molester”.

Mr Hasan went through Mr McCarthy’s previous “low point[s]” such as when in 2015, he “had to drop out of the race for speaker after going on Fox and bragging how ‘everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping’”.

In the summer of 2016, Mr McCarthy claimed to have been joking after a recording was leaked of him saying there were “two people I think Putin pays: [GOP Rep. Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump”.

After listing a number of other mishaps, Mr Hasan noted that the ex-speaker “has endured so many scandals, controversies and crises” which “tells us everything we need to know about his own long-standing unfitness for high office”.

“He spent years sucking up to Trump, only to lose the job of his dreams after just nine months at the hands of very Trumpian forces. To borrow a line from former Republican consultant Rick Wilson: ‘Everything Trump touches dies’,” he added.

Gustaf Kilander5 October 2023 14:00


McCarthy made it ‘impossible’ for Democrats to save him because he got too close to hard right, Romney says

Retiring Sen Mitt Romney (R-UT) said on Wednesday that he doesn’t put the blame on the Democrats for ousting Mr McCarthy.

“I think Speaker McCarthy made a decision to get as close as he possibly could to the radical wing of his party and by doing that he made it virtually impossible for the Democrats to come to his aid,” Mr Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and ex-Massachusetts governor, said according to HuffPost.

Gustaf Kilander5 October 2023 13:30


‘Men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,’ AOC says

2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang posted a clip of himself on CNN on Wednesday, writing on X: “Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do.”

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded, writing: “Yes, because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country. Do some of you hear yourselves?”

In a separate post, she wrote: “Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right. The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”

Gustaf Kilander5 October 2023 13:00


AOC launches scathing takedown blaming McCarthy for his own ouster: ‘He signed up to be held hostage’

New York Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram to explain what she called the “wild, historic day” in the United States when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from his post — a move the Democrat blamed Mr McCarthy himself.

“The United States of America currently does not have a Speaker of the House,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said in a video.

She explained what happened in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, placing the blame on Mr McCarthy’s leadership for this end result.

Mr McCarthy “made all of these promises to all of these people, many of which were either incompatible or tangled, and it makes it very difficult for you to lead when you make so many promises and you have to uphold them. Then, they are contradictory and its very difficult for you to govern after doing that,” the New York Democrat said.

Under the current congressional rules, a single member is allowed to file a motion to vacate. “So that has meant that for the last nine months, Kevin McCarthy signed up to be held hostage. And he has been held hostage.”

Kelly Rissman5 October 2023 12:30


Christie calls McCarthy ouster ‘political assassination’

Former New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, calling Mr McCarthy’s ouster “incredibly predictable”.

“When Kevin made the decisions he made upon entry to the speakership, he weakened himself by capitulating on a number of issues. And this was predictable,” he said. “As with most things in politics … it wasn’t policy, it was personal. Matt Gaetz doesn’t like Kevin McCarthy and was intent upon executing this type of assassination. And that’s what he did. It was a political assassination yesterday of Kevin McCarthy.”

Asked what’s next, Mr Christie said: “You have to look at all your different options. I would tell you, if I were somebody who was considering being speaker right now, I would be playing hard to get with these folks. There’s not an obvious choice here.”

“I think Steve Scalise, Tom Emmer are some of the names, Jim Jordan, but there’s no obvious choice here, the same way that even though McCarthy was the obvious choice because of his history, everyone knew the problems going in,” he said. “I think you’ve got to play hard to get. And I think there’s a lot of moderate Republicans who are in seats where Biden won their district who may be sitting here this morning thinking to themselves, ‘What kind of deal can we make to try to be counterweights to the eight who have voted to kick McCarthy out yesterday’.”

Gustaf Kilander5 October 2023 12:00

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