Conservative House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) was nominated on Friday by a solid majority of his fellow House Republicans to be the next House Speaker, though not quite enough to ensure he will win the gavel in a full House floor vote.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who supports Jordan as his replacement, later expressed confidence that the nominee would ultimately be able to rally enough support to be elected as speaker, Breitbart reported.
McCarthy seemed to indicate that Jordan would try over the weekend to win the support of the GOP members who voted against him in the nominating process and would ultimately prevail in a full floor vote at some point next week.
The Hill reported that Jordan won the nomination to be House Speaker-Designee with 124 votes following a flurry of closed-door meetings Friday that became necessary after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who won the nomination Wednesday with 110 votes, withdrew himself from consideration on Thursday after it became clear he lacked sufficient support to win the gavel.
In an effort to avoid a similar situation, a second secret ballot vote was held after Jordan was nominated in which his fellow Republicans were asked whether or not they would actually vote for him to be speaker on the House floor.
The result of that second vote was 152-55 in favor of Jordan, which raised some concerns about Jordan's electability since a minimum of 217 votes will likely be needed to win the gavel if all House Democrats vote against him, as seems nearly certain.
Given the difference between the votes Jordan has versus the total votes he needs, CNN reporter Manu Raju asked former Speaker McCarthy if Jordan could "continue to run" in light of the fact that he had only secured 152 of the 217 votes needed.
"Yeah, but he’ll get there. I don’t see a problem with him not getting there," McCarthy replied. "I think, look, people have been here a long time. We’ve now elected a speaker-designee and I think people can go home and be with their family and come back. He will be able to talk to those that doesn't and we’ll be able to get there."
Raju pressed the matter and asked McCarthy what made him so confident that Jordan would ultimately win, given that he needed to earn more than 50 additional votes.
"Because I’ve been through this many times and see where we’re at and where the conference is. Steve only had 110. 155 is a lot more than 110. Steve thought he would start at 150. That’s why I thought he had a challenge," McCarthy said in reference to Scalise.
Going on to reference prior speakers like Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the most recent former Speaker continued, "So [Jordan] has a much stronger position. I came in, what did I have, 180 some? You know, we had struggles. So I think that was more than, what did Paul have, he had a little less than that or something. Pelosi had less. I see it coming together."
Kevin McCarthy on speaker nominee Jim Jordan losing 55 GOP votes in secret-ballot election
- Says Jordan should still push through
- Says opposition to Jordan is more about frustration with the 8 who ousted him as speaker
- Asked how episode reflects on GOP: "It's terrible" pic.twitter.com/0qftVPPbYV
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 13, 2023
In an earlier post from CNN's Raju, he reported, "Per multiple members, Jim Jordan will have private talks over weekend to see if he can win over holdouts and can get to 217. Then they will return Monday for meeting before floor vote next week. Question will be if JJ goes to floor lacking votes -- something he didn’t want to do."
It will be interesting to see if the fast-talking and fiery Jordan is able to successfully convince those who opposed his nomination to ultimately vote for him next week, particularly moderates who aren't fans of his confrontational style of conservatism, or if the House will continue to be leaderless and paralyzed for the foreseeable future.