Republican Rep. Byron Donalds admitted that the “pressure campaign” by some in the Republican Party to install Rep. Jim Jordan as Speaker of the House “backfired.”
The House Republican Party has been wrangling over the choice of a presidential nominee since Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, was ousted from the speakership in a historic 216-210 vote on October 3 after the Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida led an effort to impeach him.
With House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jordan of Ohio deciding to run for president, Scalise withdrew Thursday, leaving Jordan to be chosen as the new candidate, with 152 votes. However, in the first round of voting on Tuesday, Jordan received only 200 votes, 17 short of the 217 needed to win the gavel, after 20 Republicans and all Democrats rejected him.
In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Donalds acknowledged that a pressure campaign mounted by other Republicans could have backfired, while responding to a question about whether the pressure for Jordan had discouraged some representatives.
“I believe it was, I spoke to a few members and they felt it just wasn’t what they needed. I don’t think it’s what we should be doing at this time. .. I think some of the pressure campaigns backfired, they didn’t work,” Donalds said.
Before Jordan’s loss, Donalds took to X, formerly Twitter, to share his support for Jordan.
This comes after it was recently reported that some of Jordan’s allies had attempted to intimidate Republican lawmakers who do not support the Ohio congressman’s bid for president.
It was also revealed Monday that Fox News’ Sean Hannity and his team had emailed House Republicans who don’t support Jordan asking for their reasons, while emphasizing the need to urgently fill the position.
Axios reporter Juliegrace Brufke shared the reported email on so that they vote for him.
Donalds’ acknowledgment followed statements by Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz and Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart condemning Jordan’s heavy-handed tactics, despite lacking clear support from the left.
“I truly believe that these intimidation techniques…are not acceptable,” Spartz said via Roll Call. “I didn’t like what Kevin (McCarthy) did last time. And I hope Jim (Jordan) changes his mind about that.”
Diaz-Balart told reporters at the Capitol on Monday: “If someone is trying to get my vote, the last thing you want to do is try to intimidate me or pressure me, because then I shut down completely.”
News week On Tuesday, he contacted Donalds and Jordan by email for additional comment.