Trump’s Opposition to Emmer’s Speaker Bid Sparks Chaos in House Speaker Selection
In a recent twist to the tumultuous process of selecting the next Speaker of the House, former President Donald Trump has privately expressed his disapproval of House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s bid for the coveted position, creating further chaos in an already complicated race.
Emmer’s Aspirations and Early Endorsements
Amid the ongoing race to secure the Speaker’s gavel, Tom Emmer, a Minnesota Republican, has quietly begun expressing his interest in the role. He has gained early momentum by securing the endorsement of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Trump’s Potential Influence
Donald Trump’s significant influence within the Republican Party makes his stance on the Speaker selection a matter of great importance. His opposition to Tom Emmer could sway the opinions of key party members and significantly impact the outcome of this closely watched contest.
The Battle Against Emmer
Trump’s allies have wasted no time in working to undermine Emmer’s candidacy. Supporters of the former president have started circulating opposition research about the congressmember, and even a pro-Trump podcast has turned into a platform for criticizing Emmer. Boris Epshteyn, a top Trump adviser, highlighted Emmer’s failure to endorse Trump during the Republican presidential primary, suggesting that Emmer’s views may not align with the broader Republican electorate.
The Call for a MAGA Speaker
Epshteyn argued that the party needs a “MAGA speaker” to align with the energy and sentiments of the Trump movement. The belief is that the Republican Party has evolved and embraced the ideals of the Trump era, making it distinct from the traditional Republican establishment.
Concerns Over the Trump-Emmer Relationship
Steve Bannon, a former Trump White House adviser, characterized Emmer as a “Trump hater.” Those close to Trump have expressed concerns that Emmer’s elevation to Speaker could create a rift between House Republicans and the likely presidential nominee. Trump is worried that Emmer hasn’t been a staunch defender amid his legal challenges and has criticized him for remarks made after the January 6 Capitol riot. Emmer had also faced accusations, which he vehemently denied, of advising Republican candidates to avoid associating with Trump during his tenure as the chair of the House GOP campaign arm.
In response to the allegations, Casey Nelson, communications director in Emmer’s Whip office, has denied any friction between Emmer and Trump. Nelson stressed that Emmer had worked closely with President Trump as NRCC Chair to help House Republicans regain the majority and intended to continue that productive relationship should he become Speaker.
Trump’s Prior Endorsement and Recent Developments
Previously, Trump had supported House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan’s bid for the speakership. However, Jordan’s candidacy recently faltered when House Republicans, in a secret ballot, withdrew their support for him as the speaker designee. This followed three unsuccessful attempts by Jordan to secure the necessary votes. His withdrawal from the race occurred after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s aborted run and the removal of Kevin McCarthy from the race.
The Field of Contenders
With the ongoing tumult, the Speaker’s race is wide open, and other potential contenders besides Emmer include Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, and Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington. The chaos and uncertainty surrounding this process make it one of the most closely watched developments in American politics.