Trump Urges GOP To Unite Behind McCarthy, Avoid ‘Embarrassing Defeat’ Ahead Of Round 4 Of Voting
Former President Donald Trump broke his silence Wednesday morning on Republicans’ chaotic speaker elections, reiterating his support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and calling on GOP holdouts to unite behind McCarthy and avoid an “embarrassing defeat”–after McCarthy on Tuesday became the first speaker candidate in 100 years to lose on the first round of voting, sending the process to a fourth round and a second day of ballots.
Trump warned Republicans not to “TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT,” he wrote on Truth Social Wednesday, hours before the House will reconvene for a second day of voting.
Trump, who voiced his support for McCarthy’s speaker bid and made calls on his behalf after Republicans won the majority in the House during the midterm election, said “McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!”
The former president also attempted to mobilize Republicans by invoking the party’s anti-Nancy Pelosi rallying cry: “TAKE THE VICTORY & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,” he wrote.
The declaration is a reverse course from just 15 hours earlier when Trump declined to say in an interview with NBC whether he would stand by McCarthy, telling a reporter in a phone call Tuesday evening: “We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it all works out.”
McCarthy failed to win the majority of votes needed—218—to be elected speaker in three initial rounds of voting on Tuesday, breaking 100 years of precedent in what was a chaotic start to the 118th Congress that showcased Republican divisions as they reclaimed control of the House for the first time in four years. Nineteen Republicans opposed him in the first two rounds, while all 212 Democrats voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the incoming House minority leader. The Republican holdouts—who initially divided their votes between five non-McCarthy candidates during the first round on Tuesday—coalesced behind Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in the second round and recruited a 20th member, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), to flip his vote from McCarthy to Jordan in the third round.
Trump Declines To Keep Endorsing McCarthy For Speaker After Voting Chaos, Report Says (Forbes)
McCarthy Insists Trump Still Backs Him For Speaker After Historic Loss In 3 Voting Rounds (Forbes)
Kevin McCarthy’s Historic Loss: House Adjourns After He Fails To Win Speaker Vote After 3 Rounds (Forbes)