Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spoke of a possible return to his position, should there not be a consensus among House Republicans on a replacement candidate. The news comes amid a battle between several McCarthy allies, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).
McCarthy was asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt if he would consider returning if there was no consensus on the next speaker.
“Look, whatever the conference wants, I will do,” he said. “I think we need to be strong. I think we need to be united.”
McCarthy previously said that he would not seek another tenure as speaker.
The California Republican made the comments amid the current debate over who would succeed him.
It is with a strong sense of responsibility and purpose that I seek the House Republican Conference’s nomination for Speaker of the House.
Read my letter to my colleagues: pic.twitter.com/G6YDd2SjCD
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 4, 2023
Neither Jordan or Scalise have a clear path toward the majority of the House votes needed to take the position. So far, it appears that Jordan has a lead, including an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. The two candidates will discuss the matter Tuesday during a forum, with a possible vote held as early as Wednesday.
McCarthy received considerable support from the House GOP caucus, both during his tenure and after the vote last week that toppled him. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) said that the “next Speaker should be the one we had, who should never have been removed.”
Perhaps the strongest push regarding the vacant chair has come from the former president. While some allies pushed the former president for the role (and Trump said that he would consider an interim appointment), he endorsed Jordan for the job.
“Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, D.C., representing Ohio’s 4th Congressional District,” he wrote on social media. “Respected by all, he is now Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.”
Trump described granting Jordan the “Country’s highest civilian award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
The former president praised Jordan’s sports records, including as a wrestler and coach, adding that he is “STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets & 2nd Amendment.”