Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California has been obstructed from winning enough votes to become speaker of the House by more than a dozen Republicans, but former president Donald Trump has urged GOP lawmakers to support McCarthy’s effort.
“It’s time for every one of our GREAT Republican House Members to vote for Kevin, seal the deal, and claim the victory. Republicans, don’t turn a great victory into a huge and embarrassing defeat. YOU DESERVE A CELEBRATION, SO NOW IS THE TIME. Just watch! Kevin McCarthy will perform admirably, if not even better than expected.” Trump stated in a post on Truth Social.
One Republican who has been opposed to McCarthy’s bid for speaker, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, called Trump’s backing of McCarthy a poor choice.
“The worst HR choice President Trump has ever made is to support McCarthy. Sad!” tweeted Gaetz.
McCarthy has thus far been unable to get enough support in six different votes, including three on Tuesday and three more on Wednesday, to win the speakership. Tuesday’s first two votes saw McCarthy fail because he did not have the support of 19 Republicans.
Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who already had voted for McCarthy the first two times, decided to vote against McCarthy starting with the third vote, bringing the total number of GOP votes against McCarthy to 20. The 20 Republicans who participated in the three ballots on Wednesday supported Donalds. New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries has received support from Democrats.
During remarks on Wednesday, Rep. Lauren Boebert, a fellow Republican who has been voting against McCarthy, stated that Trump should ask McCarthy to resign from the race. According to Boebert, Trump should tell McCarthy, “You don’t possess the votes so it’s time to withdraw.”
“In fact, I believe that I was a major factor in Byron Donalds’ decision to enter politics in the first place. I have always backed him and constantly endorsed him for Congress. Young and with a bright future, he is! Having said all of that, the report and assertion that I supported Byron for Speaker of the House are false and fraudulent. But not right now. He will have his day, and it will be a tremendous one.” Trump stated in a Wednesday post on Truth Social.