Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) received the Republican nomination for House Speaker this week after fending off eight other challengers. Despite the nod, Emmer faced a potential uphill battle to gain the speaker’s gavel and exited the race Tuesday afternoon.
Emmer’s nomination was greeted with both positive and negative reactions in the House Republican conference in a sign that he may not be able to secure the 217 votes necessary to become speaker.
Emmer won the House caucus vote with a 117-98 vote. After a number of other candidates withdrew from the race, Emmer defeated Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) for the bid for the gavel.
So far, about two dozen Republicans indicated that they would likely oppose Emmer as speaker. This included a number of House Republicans who either voted present or for another GOP candidate.
Emmer said that the “deck is stacked” against the House Republican caucus.
“We have no choice but to fight like hell to hold on to our House majority and deliver on our conservative agenda,” he said.
The Minnesota Republican received an endorsement from former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Tuesday.
“He is the right person for the job. He can unite the conference,” said the former speaker. “He understands the dynamics of the conference. He also understands what it takes to win and keep a majority.”
Despite the endorsement from a number of House Republicans, former President Donald Trump wrote that Emmer was a Republican in Name Only, or “RINO” on social media. Trump said that the Minnesota Republican “never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement.”
He further said that Emmer was “totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters.”
The former president questioned whether Emmer changed his stances “because that’s what it takes to win?”
Just a “hunch” but I don’t think Tom EMMER is going to make it: pic.twitter.com/EqEIrH8DlZ
— Greg Kelly (@gregkellyusa) October 24, 2023
“The Republican Party cannot take that chance, because that’s not where the America First Voters are,” Trump wrote. “Voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!”
Following the former president’s statement, Emmer dropped out of the race for speaker.