Tom Emmer Drops Out of House Speaker Race Hours After Being Nominated

Emmer was the third speaker-designate put forth by House Republicans this month

<p>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty</p> Tom Emmer

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Tom Emmer

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer dropped out of the race for House speaker on Tuesday, just hours after being nominated for the role by House Republicans.

Emmer, 62, was nominated as the Republicans' newest House speaker candidate on Tuesday afternoon, making him the third speaker-designate put forth by the party this month.

As the current House majority whip, and therefore the third-most powerful Republican in the House, Emmer seemed to be an obvious choice for the role after previous nominees Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. But as the past few weeks have shown, the traditionally breezy road to winning a speaker election is not an easy one in the divided Republican Party, which has thus far failed to unite behind a candidate.

Related: Tom Emmer Is the GOP’s New House Speaker Candidate: What to Know About the Minnesota Congressman

<p>AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite</p> Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the House's top leadership role in early October

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the House's top leadership role in early October

Earlier this month, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted in a first-of-its-kind recall vote initiated by far-right Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Shortly after McCarthy's historic ouster, Republicans nominated Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority leader, as their candidate to fill the vacancy. The No. 2 House Republican quickly learned that he would not have enough votes to win the formal speaker election, and he soon withdrew himself from consideration for the role.

Last week, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was selected as the new Republican House speaker nominee, replacing Scalise on the ballot. But after three rounds of voting in the subsequent House speaker election, Jordan was also unable to secure the number of votes needed to win. By Friday, his dreams of the speakership were dashed when members of his own party voted to drop him as the party's nominee.

<p>Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty</p> Jim Jordan, who was briefly the Republican Party's House speaker-designate

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty

Jim Jordan, who was briefly the Republican Party's House speaker-designate

Emmer was then selected to replace Jordan on the ballot Tuesday, surviving less than an afternoon as the speaker-designate. Emmer also had an uphill battle to secure the position in a speaker election, due in large part to his strained relationship with former President Donald Trump — and, therefore, Trump's allies in Congress.

Emmer has been at odds with Trump in the past, such as when he sharply criticized him in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

When he decided to run for speaker, Emmer attempted to embrace Trump, calling the former president on the phone earlier this week and writing a message to him on Twitter Monday that read, "Thank you, Mr. President. If my colleagues elect me Speaker of the House, I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship."

Related: House Names Temporary Speaker Pro Tempore After Kevin McCarthy's Historic Ousting

But on Tuesday, amid the first round of voting, Trump took to social media to call Emmer a RINO ("Republican in Name Only"), writing, "He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA—MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! ... He is totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters. I believe he has now learned his lesson, because he is saying that he is Pro-Trump all the way, but who can ever be sure?"

Trump continued: "Has he only changed because that’s what it takes to win? The Republican Party cannot take that chance, because that’s not where the America First Voters are. Voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!"

Emmer withdrew when it became clear that he would not receive the necessary votes to win the speaker election, once again initiating a search for the next speaker-designate.

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