OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Hours after a moderate Republican was nominated to become the next Speaker of the House, another name has emerged as the party’s newest nominee: Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana.
According to Politico, after two rounds of voting, “Johnson has the most votes in the House GOP’s latest attempt to nominate a speaker, though he’s still short of the majority he needs to become the conference nominee.”
“Three candidates are now out of the running: Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.) and Rep. Roger Williams (Texas) were eliminated after receiving the fewest votes, while Rep. Marc Green dropped out after the second round,” the outlet said, adding that Republicans will continue to vote by secret ballot until one candidate manages to secure a simple majority.
Those with the lowest plurality of votes will be eliminated after each round, the outlet reported, adding the breakdown of the latest vote that saw Johnson with the highest tally:
Johnson 85 … Byron Donalds 32 … Mark Green 23 … Roger Williams 21 … Fleischmann 10 … Other 31 … Present 2
Johnson 97 … Donalds 31 … Green 21 … Williams-20 … Other 34
Earlier Tuesday, Johnson finished second behind House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), but Emmer withdrew when it became apparent he could not get the requisite 217 votes after former President Donald Trump came out against him, Politico noted.
Following his second-round victory, Johnson told reporters he was “very confident” that he could get 217 votes and said “the intention is to go to the floor” for a vote sometime on Wednesday.
“We had votes for Mike Johnson across the board,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the ringleader in the drive to oust Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) late last month, setting off the current situation of Republicans being unable to fill the Speaker’s chair and get the chamber back to work.
“From some of the most conservative members to some of our frontliners, there was enthusiastic support,” Gaetz added, according to Politico.
Rep. Mike Johnson after being nominated for Speaker: “Democracy is messy sometimes, but it is our system. This conference that you see, this House Republican majority, is united.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 25, 2023
President Trump weighs in on the Speaker race:
“My suggestion is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson and GET IT DONE, FAST! LOVE, DJT.” pic.twitter.com/L4IzVDYNTE
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 25, 2023
Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) added: “Mike Johnson is a humble man who inspires us to work together.”
The Daily Caller noted that after Emmer was chosen, “conservatives took to social media … criticizing his voting record and his lack of support for” Trump.
The outlet added:
Emmer won the GOP nomination in a closed-door secret ballot election after five rounds of voting following the failed candidacies of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan. Despite speaking with Trump over the weekend about his speaker bid, he has declined to endorse the former president and has previously supported abolishing the Electoral College, along with several other controversial votes and stances that have prompted a conservative backlash over his nomination.
“Tom Emmer must NEVER become Speaker of the House,” Brigitte Gabriel, founder of grassroots organization ACT For America, wrote in a tweet after he was nominated.
“Tom Emmer is not the guy this country needs or wants,” Ryan Fournier, founder of Students For Trump, added on the X platform. “BYRON DONALDS FOR SPEAKER!”
During an interview with CNN’s Manu Raju Monday evening, Emmer would not endorse Trump’s 2024 presidential bid. He also voted to certify the 2020 election results and worked in the past with an organization called National Popular Vote, which advocates for ending the Electoral College.
Trump took to his own Truth Social media platform to criticize Emmer.
“I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors. RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them. He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA—MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote.
“He fought me all the way, and actually spent more time defending Ilhan Omar, than he did me—He is totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters. I believe he has now learned his lesson, because he is saying that he is Pro-Trump all the way, but who can ever be sure? Has he only changed because that’s what it takes to win?” he added.