Matt Gaetz Urges Jim Jordan to Run for House Speaker, Questions McCarthy’s Leadership
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EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Matt Gaetz is urging Rep. Jim Jordan to run for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives if Republicans regain the majority this November.
Gaetz, R-Fla., said the Ohio Republican not only has the trust of the conservative base, but could also unite disparate factions within the House GOP.
“For my money, the best person to be Speaker of the House would be Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio,” Gaetz said during an interview with Fox News Digital at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas. “Our base trusts him. He’s the hardest working and most talented member.”
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Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, is a conservative stalwart within the House GOP. Jordan, a former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was a leading opponent of Republican leadership under Speaker John Boehner in the 2010s.
After the 2018 election, Jordan ran for House Minority Leader against then-GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy of California. McCarthy won the race by a large margin.
Since the contest, the GOP conference has shifted to the right under McCarthy’s leadership. At the same time, McCarthy has worked to bring Jordan into the leadership group as an advisor.
Jordan has previously stated that he would support McCarthy if Republicans regained the majority, and his office did not comment on Gaetz’s comments from CPAC to Fox News Digital.
Despite Jordan’s support, Gaetz said he wasn’t sold on McCarthy as House speaker.
“One question I’ve gotten consistently at CPAC is, ‘Can we trust Kevin McCarthy to be in the battle with us and not be a valet for lobbyists and special interests?'” he said. “I still think it’s a question open”.
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McCarthy, who has raised more than $100 million for the GOP’s efforts to take back the House, is the heavy favorite for the presidency. The Californian has a strong base of support among mainstream conservatives and moderate Republicans, who often make the difference between having a majority or a minority.
McCarthy’s office did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Gaetz has previously floated the idea of former President Donald Trump being elected president, noting that the role does not officially require the president to be a member of the House.
“I offered President Trump the concept of the speaker and he had little interest in it,” Gaetz said. “I think he’s interested in a different job in our federal government, not Speaker of the House.”
Regardless of who ends up with the speaker’s gavel, Gaetz said Republicans need a vision for how to govern when they’re in the majority.
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“I think we should turn every congressional committee into an oversight committee,” he argued. “This is not the time to hold hands in the warm spring rain with Democrats and figure out if we can pass a spending bill or an infrastructure bill.”
“If we do not fulfill these commitments to our voters, then we will be exterminated in the subsequent elections. And all this would have been in vain,” he added. “So I’m here to make sure that we have a fighting spirit in the Republican Party and that we get those victories.”
McCarthy, meanwhile, seems to agree. The minority leader told Fox News earlier this year that if Republicans win the majority they will push a strong agenda focused on oversight and accountability.
“We’ve worked together with every member of Congress for the last year and a half … talking to every committee to do some oversight,” McCarthy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“Hold this administration accountable, maintain [cabinet] secretaries responsible for how they spend [taxpayer] money,” he continued.