Trump endorsement fails with surprise GOP speaker pick of Scalise over Jordan
Trump endorsed House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to be the new House speaker last week, which many expected could push Jordan over the finish line.
Jordan received a lot of public support and endorsements from his House colleagues, but any expectations that he would cruise to the nomination over Scalise were dashed on Wednesday.
Scalise took the nomination over Jordan in a secret ballot, drawing questions about the strength of the former president’s endorsement.
Democrat Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota — a moderate member — told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that he thinks ‘on the surface’ the pick of Scalise over Jordan ‘seems like a pretty clear repudiation of Trump, and a fairly public one.’
Phillips said he thinks ‘supporters of Mr. Scalise would probably have to think twice about [that] before they actually make that vote for reasons’ that people would ‘understand.’
Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, seemed to dismiss the idea that Scalise’s victory was a repudiation of Trump’s endorsement.
‘Well, you got some people in the conference that obviously have some issues with Donald Trump,’ Nehls told reporters after the GOP conference. ‘But I would probably say to those in the Republican conference that have problems with Donald Trump, get over yourself, because Donald Trump is the leader of our party. Make no mistake.’
When pressed on what it means that Trump’s preferred candidate failed to win a majority of the GOP votes, Nehls said: ‘But he also got 99 votes. Jim Jordan did get 99. That’s a significant number.’
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Since the nomination, Jordan said he plans to vote for Scalise for speaker and is even expected to give a nominating speech on the House floor whenever a vote is held.
Jordan has also been encouraging his supporters to back Scalise once the nomination hits the House floor for a vote.
Some Republicans, including Reps. Chip Roy and Marjorie Taylor Greene have said they will not vote for Scalise.
The news comes as Republicans look to mint a new House speaker after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s historic ouster last week.
McCarthy has since backed Scalise, his former number two, for the speakership.
Fox News’s Elizabeth Elkind and Kelly Phares contributed reporting.