Tom Emmer has withdrawn his name contention to become the next House Speaker hours after Republicans nominated him for the position and Donald Trump trashed him on Truth Social.
Republicans nominated Tom Emmer to become the next House Speaker in a closed-door vote Tuesday morning. The nod toward the Minnesota congressman came amid weeks of turmoil as the party struggles to coalesce around a leader to replace Kevin McCarty, whom it ousted from the position earlier this month.
Emmer emerged from a handful of candidates who put their names forward for the position, defeating Rep. Mike Johnson on the fifth round of voting. He only landed 117 votes, however, which meant he still needed to win over a sizable portion of the caucus if he wanted to bring in the 217 he needs to win the gavel. There were over 20 Republicans who declined to vote for him in a roll call vote following the nomination, which didn’t bode well for his chances.
Emmer — unlike McCarthy and replacement flame-outs Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan — actually voted to uphold the results of the 2020 election, and his status as a relative moderate reportedly led some Democrats to consider abstaining from a floor vote in order to help him grab the gavel. It also drew the ire of Donald Trump and his allies.
Trump took to Truth Social to unload on Emmer on Tuesday. “I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors,” he wrote. “RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them.” Trump then questioned why Emmer is suddenly saying he supports him before concluding that voting “for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!”
Yesterday, Trump said he’s “always gotten on well” with Emmer. Today, trashes him as he gets traction (and as some folks are trying hard to stop Emmer’s rise) pic.twitter.com/MXuPkCstMv
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 24, 2023
The former president had reportedly been telling allies he didn’t support Emmer’s Speaker bid prior to Tuesday, and MAGA mouthpieces like Steve Bannon had been openly campaigning against him, calling him a “Trump hater” on his podcast. Trump also shared a post from far-right ally Laura Loomer on Truth Social calling Emmer a “Trump hating Congressman who is now the Uniparty’s favored pick to become Speaker of the House even though he worked for a Soros group dedicated to getting rid of the Electoral College.” Trump shared a subsequent post from Loomer connecting Emmer to Obama.
Trump earlier this month nominated Jordan, who lost three floor votes last week (losing additional Republicans in each vote) before dropping out of the race.
Emmer had reportedly been working to win over Trump supporters since throwing his hat in the ring for Speaker. Politico noted on Monday that his allies have been emphasizing that they have “never heard him say a negative thing about Trump” and that he keeps a signed photo of himself with the former president in his office. It wasn’t enough to win over Trump, and now that Emmer has withdrawn, the GOP is in a familiar place in its struggle to appoint a Speaker: totally lost.
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