Trump’s Influence and the Speaker Battle: A Look at the Race for the Gavel”
Former President Donald Trump has made it known that he does not endorse House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s campaign for Speaker, injecting another layer of complexity into an already turbulent process to select the next leader of the House.
Trump’s stance comes as Tom Emmer privately expresses his interest in the coveted role. The Minnesota Republican, having secured the backing of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, has emerged as an early frontrunner.
However, the potential impact of Trump’s disapproval cannot be underestimated, as any contender for the position can ill-afford to lose too many votes. Already, Trump’s closest allies are actively working to thwart Emmer’s candidacy. They have begun circulating opposition research on the Congressman, and Trump-aligned media outlets have turned their attention to criticize Emmer.
During a recent segment on the “War Room” podcast, a prominent Trump adviser, Boris Epshteyn, highlighted Emmer’s failure to endorse Trump during the Republican presidential primary, suggesting that Emmer is out of touch with the party’s base and the MAGA movement. Epshteyn emphasized the need for a “MAGA speaker” who aligns with the current energy and direction of the Republican Party.
Steve Bannon, former Trump White House adviser and host of the “War Room” podcast, joined in, labeling Emmer as a “Trump hater.” Others close to Trump expressed concerns that Emmer’s speakership would create a divide between House Republicans and their presumed presidential nominee due to his lack of a relationship with Trump.
In private conversations, Trump has conveyed his unease about the prospect of Emmer becoming the Speaker, emphasizing his belief that Emmer has not been a strong defender against the legal challenges Trump faces. Trump also pointed to Emmer’s critical remarks following the January 6 Capitol riot and reports (which Emmer has denied) that he advised Republican candidates to avoid mentioning Trump while serving as the chair of the House GOP campaign arm.
While there is speculation about potential candidates entering the race, Emmer remains a leading contender. Other names being considered include Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, and Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington.
The battle for the Speaker’s gavel continues to evolve, and Trump’s influence looms large in the decision-making process.