Florida GOP Congressmen Clash Over Speaker Vote – ‘Bad for the Country’
Congress has adjourned for the weekend after Republicans designated Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan as their House Speaker nominee by a 124-81 vote behind closed doors. But while the majority of House Republicans have announced their support for Jordan, several holdouts have left the Ohio Congressman’s path to the gavel uncertain.
On Friday, members of Florida’s House Republican delegation appeared divided on the issue, with some saying they would not vote for Jordan in an eventual floor vote. With the GOP holding such a slim majority, Jordan–or any other Republican nominee–can only afford to lose four votes during the House vote.
Florida Congressmen Carlos Gimenez and John Rutherford say they will vote against Jordan.
On Friday, Gimenez appeared on CNN to say he would vote for Kevin McCarthy, despite the former Speaker recently urging members not to re-nominate him.
“We know who our real leader is, it was demonstrated in there. I’m more solidly behind McCarthy now than ever,” Gimenez told Jake Tapper. “I think Kevin McCarthy is the one that needs to lead our party. And hopefully he will realize that for the good of the conference, for the good of the Congress, for the good of the country, he needs to put his name back in.”
Earlier on Friday, Rutherford also announced he would oppose Jordan on the floor and took a swipe at fellow Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz for his role in ousting McCarthy.
“I’m a no on allowing Matt Gaetz and the other seven to win by putting their individual in as Speaker,” Rutherford told reporters.
A sign of the challenges ahead for Jim Jordan to flip at least 51 Republicans over the next three days.
"I'm more solidly behind McCarthy now than ever," said Rep. Carlos Gimenez, brushing aside McCarthy's support for Jordan. pic.twitter.com/jj2Uphzjo3
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 13, 2023
.@RepRutherfordFL would vote against Speaker-Designate Jim Jordan just to spite me.
I hope he gets some feedback from Floridians that this is selfish and bad for the country.
By contrast, removing McCarthy was both popular and just given his lies and broken promises. https://t.co/7Bdu8j4BwP
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 13, 2023
Shortly after, Gaetz shot back from his X account, saying Rutherford “would vote against Speaker-Designate Jim Jordan just to spite me.”
“I hope he gets some feedback from Floridians that this is selfish and bad for the country. By contrast, removing McCarthy was both popular and just given his lies and broken promises.”
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna expressed similar aggravation with Republican holdouts.
“You guys want to go 15 rounds?” she asked, referencing January’s lengthy battle to elect Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
“Fine. Let’s do it. On the floor. For the country to see. This Monday. You want to explain to your voters why you blocked Jordan? Then bring it.. because from the calls I’m getting, they are asking me what’s going on. I have an infant son and I spent the last week up in Washington trying to figure this out while members of Congress LEFT.”
Vern Buchanan told me he’s not backing Jim Jordan. “Steve Scalise – the way they dealt with him yesterday was wrong.” Asked if he thought Jordan should have endorsed Scalise right away: “Yeah, in a much more aggressive way.”
Buchanan predicts 4 more candidates will jump into race
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 13, 2023
Also on Friday, however, Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan signaled he would also oppose Jordan in a final floor vote. CNN reporter Manu Raju reported that Buchanan remained frustrated by the nomination process, including blocking previous nominee Steve Scalise.
“Steve Scalise – the way they dealt with him yesterday was wrong.” Buchanan reportedly said that he felt Jordan should have endorsed Scalise “in a much more aggressive way.”
“Once you get done with this, Jordan won’t get the votes. I don’t know if anybody can get the votes. Then you’re going to have four or five other members of Congress – that are really I think pretty strong members – that will get in the race.”
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