Former President Donald Trump has officially thrown his support behind Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to succeed Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker. Trump made the announcement on his Truth Social site, praising Jordan as a “STAR” who will be a “GREAT Speaker of the House.” This endorsement comes after Texas Rep. Troy Nehls revealed that Trump would back Jordan’s bid for the position.
Trump endorses Jim Jordan to succeed Kevin McCarthy as House speaker https://t.co/5DNaoth98Y
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) October 6, 2023
Trump’s support for Jordan demonstrates his continued control over the Republican Party. With House Republicans divided and lacking a clear leader, some have turned to Trump for guidance. Trump has even entertained the idea of serving as interim leader himself if no suitable successor is found. In recent days, Trump has been favoring Jordan for the role, according to anonymous sources.
Nehls, who had been advocating for Trump to run for Speaker, now backs Jordan after discussing the matter with the former president. Nehls believes that Jordan is the right candidate for the job. Jordan is currently competing with Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana for the position, and both candidates are working to secure the necessary votes. Trump’s endorsement could potentially tip the scales, forcing Scalise out of the race. Nehls admits that if no candidate is able to secure the support needed to win, he would turn to Trump once again.
Before the endorsement, Trump had been in talks to visit Capitol Hill and meet with Republican lawmakers ahead of a speakership vote. This would be Trump’s first visit to the Capitol since leaving office and since the January 6th insurrection. However, Nehls believes that the visit is unlikely to happen now that Trump has thrown his support behind Jordan.
Jordan has been a strong supporter of Trump throughout his presidency. He has been leading investigations into prosecutors who have charged the former president and has worked alongside Trump to overturn his election defeat. Scalise has also had a close relationship with Trump. Trump has even suggested that he would be willing to serve as Speaker temporarily if no other candidate can secure the votes. However, it remains to be seen if Trump’s popularity within the Republican conference will translate into support for him as Speaker. The role requires a deep understanding of legislating, an area that Trump did not show much interest in during his presidency.