House Republicans are busy venting their ire on Democrats for not saving Kevin McCarthy from being ousted as speaker. As if Democrats owe Republicans anything at this point. Meanwhile Republicans are letting someone else off the hook for failing to help McCarthy: Donald Trump. Trump didn’t help McCarthy, and in exchange, Trump’s being floated as a possible replacement speaker.
Back in January, when McCarthy was fighting his way through 15 rounds of voting to become speaker, Trump was working the phones to help him get the votes. Not this time.
Sure, Trump was busy sitting in a New York court, fuming over the $250 million civil suit against him, his family, and his businesses. Maybe he didn’t have time to personally call the House Republicans threatening to vote to remove McCarthy from his position. Trump still had ways to at least indicate his support.
Here’s the closest Trump came to publicly supporting McCarthy: A Truth Social post reading, “Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?” It didn’t name McCarthy or push back on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s claim that Trump was supporting the motion to vacate, but some Trump advisers said the post showed that he hadn’t backed Gaetz.
That may be, but what’s certain is that Trump didn’t post explicitly in support of McCarthy or Gaetz. He just didn’t bother to weigh in on the biggest thing happening in his party this week. Some leader.
Trump also had plenty of opportunities to say something to reporters if he wanted to boost McCarthy. “As for Trump, I very audibly asked him twice outside of the NY courtroom midday whether McCarthy should remain Speaker — both times, Trump ignored & returned to his holding room,” NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard tweeted. “He has come & gone six other times since from the courtroom, bypassing the cameras w/o speaking.”
All Trump had to do was stop and say two sentences. Would it have swayed any votes? Maybe, maybe not, but he would have been on the record backing McCarthy.
So Republicans are reacting with white-hot fury to Democrats not having saved McCarthy, but giving their own party’s ultimate leader a pass on not even having mentioned his name. In fact, some Republicans are pushing the idea of Trump as the next speaker.
“Kevin McCarthy will NOT be running again as Speaker,” Rep. Troy Nehls tweeted. “I nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the House.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took a more verbose approach to the same position, tweeting, “The only candidate for Speaker I am currently supporting is President Donald J. Trump,” and offering a long list of reasons including, “He received a record number of Republican votes of any Republican Presidential candidate!” That’s an interesting way to say “he lost the popular vote twice,” but okay.
Fox News personality Sean Hannity reported, “Sources telling me at this hour some House Republicans have been in contact with and have started an effort to draft former President Donald Trump to be the next speaker, and I have been told that President Trump might be open to helping the Republican Party, at least in the short term, if necessary, if it’s needed.”
If someone nominates him and Trump doesn’t reject the idea, it will be very interesting to see which Republicans dare vote against him. Another thing to watch is that Republican conference rules reportedly prohibit anyone from serving in leadership “if indicted for a felony for a sentence of which two or more years of imprisonment may be imposed.” Then again, Republicans are staunchly opposed to rules ever applying to Trump. Why should this be any different?
Sign if you agree: So long, Kevin.