If there is a story over the past few days that changed more than the one on the battle over choosing a new House Speaker, I don’t know what it is. It’s sometimes been like trying to navigate a raft on a rapidly churning river. I’ll attempt here to bring you all up to date. We’ve had everything from candidates scurrying around, working on gathering potential “voters” in the Republican caucus, to even former President Donald Trump hinting that he might be willing to take on the role — if he wasn’t busy leading the Republican presidential primary field “by about 50 points.”
Then there was word, late Thursday, that Trump would endorse Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio). But by first thing Friday, the candidate list appeared to narrow to just two: Jordan and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R.-La.),
There was also a Speaker candidate debate set up by Fox News, which was scheduled for next Monday — until it got canceled, as we reported Friday afternoon.
Rep. Scalise sat down on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” to make his case for the Speakership in the morning, though. He addressed the 800-pound elephant (pardon the pun) in the room — Trump’s endorsement of Jordan:
We [Trump and I] spoke, obviously. A lot of friendships in this race. A lot of folks that have been talking to other folks on the outside to bring into this race. There’s a lot of interest in this race.
He talked about the “problems” that exist within the GOP conference, which he said won’t be solved right away, until things are “back on track”::
The problems that we have internally, they don’t go away with the new speaker. But the real question the members have is how do we get things back on track? And the reason I’ve been able to build such a strong base of support over these last few days that’s been growing is that I’ve got a long proven record and somebody who knows how to unify Republicans to fight on the battles that matter for the families who gave us this majority.
Then Scalise checked off the battles Americans who elected them care about:
They want us to be fighting over border security, getting spending under control. It’s driving inflation. The things that we came here to do are what we’ve got to get back on track doing. And that’s the conversations we’ve been having these last few days. And we’re going to continue having.
The final thing he made sure to stress was that the “real fight” is even more important for him and his congressional colleagues to win after the Speaker battle ends:
Republicans must unify and fight for the things we told Americans we’d do:
– Secure the border
– Cut spending
– End the Dems’ weaponization of government against political rivals
I’ve built coalitions and unified Republicans to win battles before—and I’m ready to do it again. pic.twitter.com/tQvP1Dn7EE
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 6, 2023
We got to get this resolved soon. That’s going to get resolved Wednesday in our conference. But then we’ve got to go back fighting for those families who are struggling because that’s what the real fight’s about.
The fight continues, and we’ll keep you posted on where it goes from here.