Trump focused on presidential run, not on seizing speaker's gavel

October 7, 2023

In the wake of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's ouster earlier this week, speculation turned to what role former President Donald Trump might play in choosing his replacement, and as Breitbart notes, it soon appeared that assuming the post himself was not likely to be a priority, despite calls from some for him to do just that.

On Wednesday, amid calls for him to consider throwing his hat into the ring for consideration to become the new speaker – at least on an interim basis – Trump remarked, “All I can say is we'll do whatever's best for the country and for the Republican Party.”

“I'll do whatever it is to help, but my total focus is being president and honestly making America great again – because we are living in a country in decline,” Trump added.

The former president stated, “A lot of people have asked me about [the speaker's race],” but pointed out that he currently holds a substantial lead in the GOP primary race and has his focus “totally on that.”

Further stoking speculation that Trump might actually put himself forward as a candidate for speaker – a role that is not required to be filled by a sitting member of Congress – he reportedly told Fox News Digital, “If they don't get the vote, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer-term, because I am running for president.”

“They have asked me if I would take it for a short period of time for the party, until they come to a conclusion – I'm not doing it because I want to – I will do it if necessary, should they not be able to make their decision,” he added.

Trump did, however, put an upper limit on his potential service in such role, saying, that he would only assume the job for a “30, 60, or 90-day period.”

Soon after McCarthy was ousted from his leadership position earlier in the week, lawmakers such as Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) and Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) began floating Trump as a possible replacement, and rumors that the former president was planning a Tuesday visit to D.C. fanned the flames even further.

Talk of such a possibility came to a halt late on Thursday evening, however, when Trump made clear that he will be supporting Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for the speakership, as NBC News reported.

Taking to his Truth Social platform to tout Jordan's qualifications, Trump said, “Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, D.C., representing Ohio's 4th Congressional District.”

Trump went on to describe Jordan as “STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets, & 2nd Amendment,” and added that “Jim, his wife Polly, & family are outstanding.”

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

Among those joining Trump in backing Jordan's candidacy are Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep Harriet Hageman (R-WY), though there has also been support for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is also in the running for the job of speaker.

Scalise, however, was recently diagnosed with blood cancer and is in the process of undergoing treatment, a scenario which prompted Fox News host Sean Hannity to suggest that Jordan should get the nod. "I like Steve Scalise. I think he’s a great leader. I think he’s a really good guy. He’s a patriot,” “I want his health to be put first. I really mean that when I say that. I don’t think he should be changing his position at this time,” he said.

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