Former President Donald Trump excited many conservatives when he declared that he would do “whatever is necessary” to usher in the next Speaker of the House.
That excitement was short-lived, however, as he confirmed that his focus is on next year’s presidential election and not the House. Trump noted his prohibitive lead in the polls over his Republican primary opponents after some floated the idea of him assuming the Speaker’s gavel.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from the position on Tuesday.
Thursday morning, Trump shed further light on his agenda in a Truth Social post. “I am running for president, have a 62-point lead over Republicans, and am up on Crooked Joe Biden…by four to 11 points, but will do whatever is necessary to help with the Speaker of the House selection.”
Trump added that whoever the new Speaker is, that person will help the next president, “ME, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
ONE THING WE KNOW FOR SURE – Trump as Speaker would give new meaning to "THE ART OF WAR"
Trump knows how to fight for America.
Trump would find a way to defund Mayorkas – the FBI witch hunts against Trump supporters – Defund any organization aiding the illegals aliens to cross… pic.twitter.com/G1i7Sm5qag
— BelannF (@BelannF) October 5, 2023
Some read into Trump’s comments the day before that he might be willing to take the gavel. On Wednesday, while in Manhattan for his civil fraud trial, he said he will do “whatever is best for the country and for the Republican Party.”
This followed a declaration on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). She asserted the only candidate for Speaker she is supporting is Trump.
Similar calls came from other quarters, but Trump poured cold water on that idea.
In response, he said his “focus is entirely on [the presidency]. Trump added that there are some “great people” in the GOP who would handle the Speaker’s role quite well.
In the history of the U.S. there has never been a Speaker of the House who was not a member of Congress. However, that is not a requirement spelled out in the Constitution.
McCarthy’s departure came after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) forced a vote with a motion to vacate Monday night. The representative was upset that a stopgap funding measure was passed on Saturday to keep the government functioning.
He considered the compromise a rejection of pledges McCarthy made to conservative Republicans when he assumed the speakership in January.
The vote was 216-210 with eight GOP representatives joining all Democrats to eject the Speaker.