In a recent development, GOP Congressman John Rutherford expressed his hope for the reinstatement of Kevin McCarthy as the Speaker of the House. Rutherford made it clear that he would not lend his support to Rep. Jim Jordan for the position, citing his opposition to Rep. Matt Gaetz’s success in ousting McCarthy.
This revelation came to light when Rutherford addressed the media on Friday. He stated that his primary motivation for withholding support from Jordan is to prevent Gaetz from claiming victory. Gaetz, who filed a historic motion to vacate the chair, succeeded in eliminating McCarthy as House Speaker, an unprecedented event in American political history.
Presently, Jordan appears to be the frontrunner for the speaker position since GOP Majority Leader Steve Scalise withdrew his campaign. Scalise realized that he did not have the necessary 217 votes to secure victory. Many conservative Republicans are rallying behind Jordan, who enjoys widespread support within the GOP’s voter base. However, Rutherford and other establishment hardliners are actively blocking Jordan’s progress by withholding their votes. Their intention is to reinstate Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
In closed-door GOP conference meetings held on Friday to vote on speakership nominees, Rutherford reinforced his allegiance to McCarthy. He emphasized that McCarthy is head and shoulders above the other candidates. In response to a question from a reporter about his stance on Jordan, Rutherford confirmed that he would not support his nomination. He explained that this decision stemmed from his resentment towards Gaetz and the seven other Republicans who voted in favor of the motion to remove McCarthy as speaker.
Rutherford’s position is reaffirmed in a video clip that captures his remarks during the conference meetings. In the clip, he asserts his support for McCarthy, claiming that the deposed speaker has the backing of 96% of the conference. Rutherford goes on to state that he will not allow Gaetz and the other seven Republicans to triumph by installing their preferred candidate as speaker.
The speaker race remains intense as Republicans navigate through this internal strife. With Jordan attracting significant conservative support and Rutherford countering with his endorsement of McCarthy, a clear resolution seems distant. The outcome of this power struggle will significantly impact the direction and leadership of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. It remains to be seen whether McCarthy can overcome the opposition and emerge victorious in his bid to be reinstated as Speaker of the House.