A divided House Republican caucus voted to nominate Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) to replace ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Wednesday.
GOP leaders declined to bring the matter to a vote of the full chamber, however, because they seemed to realize that he wouldn’t receive the support necessary to be elected.
Now, Scalise has apparently seen the writing on the wall and decided to drop out of the running.
According to NPR:
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., has dropped out of the race to become the new House speaker, after failing to secure enough support for his bid to succeed on the floor.
“I was very clear we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs,” Scalise told reporters in the Capitol. “This country is counting on us to come back together. This House of Representatives needs a speaker, and we need to open up the House again.”
Scalise informed House Republicans of his plans during a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has also been campaigning for the leadership post, and he’s been getting a lot of support from conservatives in the party, including former President Donald Trump.
Trump endorses Rep Jim Jordan for Speaker: pic.twitter.com/o3z5FyuKHn
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 6, 2023
Here’s how some others on the right reacted to Scalise’s decision.
JUST IN: Newsmax is reporting Steve Scalise cannot secure the votes needed for Speaker and is expected to WITHDRAW from the race.
Who wants to see Jim Jordan for Speaker instead? pic.twitter.com/vzapHWYgr9
— TEAM USA 🇺🇸 (@__TEAM_USA) October 12, 2023
Rep. Steve Scalise withdraws his candidacy for Speaker of the House.
Another Win for MAGA!
— Joseph Pino (@JosephPino_) October 13, 2023
BREAKING: Steve Scalise has withdrawn his name from the Speaker of House position.
As a reminder, President Trump nominated Jim Jordan. pic.twitter.com/eujTk4s4L1
— TheDeplorableVeteran🇺🇸 (@DeplorableVet84) October 13, 2023
🚨Steve Scalise is OUT!!
Who’s your Speaker? pic.twitter.com/s81u8dhj2l
— TONY™️ (@TONYxTWO) October 13, 2023
Prior to Scalise’s announcement, he had received significant backlash from within his own party, including from those who voted to oust McCarthy.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), for example, cited controversial comments by the Louisiana Republican’s as a primary reason for supporting Jordan.
As The Hill reported:
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said in a Wednesday interview that she still plans to vote for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to be the next Speaker when the matter is brought to the floor for a House vote.
“I would not. I plan on voting for Jim Jordan on the floor,” Mace said on CNN when asked whether she would have voted for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), the GOP nominee, had the House vote been held Wednesday afternoon.
“I’ve been very vocal about this over the last couple of days: I personally cannot, in good conscience, vote for someone who attended a white supremacist conference and compared himself to David Duke,” she continued. “I would be doing an enormous disservice to the voters that I represent in South Carolina if I were to do that.”
Mace was referring to reports that Scalise had compared himself to the Ku Klux Klan grand wizard at an event years ago, reportedly calling himself “David Duke without the baggage.”
Here’s some additional coverage of the latest development: