As holdouts threatened another marathon speaker election in the U.S. House, some voiced efforts to reinstate ousted California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, if only to spite another Republican colleague.
Two weeks after the motion to vacate brought by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz passed with seven other GOP congressmen voting alongside him and the Democratic Caucus, a vote to elect a new speaker is scheduled where Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan has been selected as the Republican Conference nominee.
Despite McCarthy himself putting his support behind the House Judiciary Committee chairman in being his replacement, several members have indicated they would be voting for reinstatement in their own effort to knock Gaetz down a peg.
“I’m back with Kevin McCarthy,” Florida Rep. John Rutherford said to reporters Friday when asked about his position.
Rep. John Rutherford (R- FL) said he still supported Rep. McCarthy (R-CA) for the speakership, saying he had 96% of the conference’s support: “I’m a no on allowing Matt Gaetz and the other seven to win by putting their individual in as speaker.” pic.twitter.com/lDySGPzvoZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 13, 2023
“Kevin McCarthy had 96%. 4% took him out, joining with the Democrats. Now we’re in conference where the Democrats don’t get to vote,” he explained. “Since he — out of all the folks that have thrown their hat in the ring, he is head and shoulders above the rest in the majority that he’s able to put together.”
“It was 96%!” reiterated Rutherford.
Asked where if he remained a “no” on Jordan Friday, he specified, “I’m a ‘no’ on allowing Matt Gaetz and the other seven to win by putting their individual in as speaker.”
Though he had not initially named who he had hoped to replace McCarthy with after the ousting, Gaetz had latched onto the proposed nomination of Jordan and on Tuesday posted a picture of himself with the speaker candidate captioned, “Speaker Jordan Day!”
Speaker Jordan Day! pic.twitter.com/LHjHiW3MQe
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 17, 2023
Despite his endorsement of former President Donald Trump as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, Rutherford’s posturing against Gaetz landed him a RINO label as he and seven others mirrored the dissent against McCarthy with their own against Jordan.
Outspoken Trump supporter Rogan O’Handley remarked Monday “We’re down to the last 8 RINOs” listing with Rutherford: Florida Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart and Carlos Gimenez, Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon and Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas.
Jim Jordan “No” votes as of 11:46 AM EST:
Don Bacon (NE-02)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Tom Cole (OK-04)
Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-26)
Carlos Gimenez (FL-28)
Drew Ferguson (GA-03)
Frank Lucas (OK-03)
John Rutherford (FL-05)
Mike Simpson (ID-02)
Rob Wittman (VA-01)
Steve Womack (AR-02)
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) October 16, 2023
A report from The Hill Tuesday featured some differences as New York Rep. Mike Lawler was listed with Gimenez as intending to support McCarthy with Bacon “inclined” to do so. Meanwhile, Díaz-Balart had stated his intent to support House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA) with Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly despite Scalise withdrawing himself from the nomination after a narrow nomination victory in closed conference of 113-99.
As he himself headed to trial at a Manhattan courthouse Tuesday, Trump spoke to his longstanding endorsement of Jordan on Truth Social and posted, “Jim Jordan will be a GREAT Speaker of the House. As everyone knows, I have long ago given him my Complete and Total Endorsement!”