FreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker
A conservative advocacy group is backing former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to succeed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis).
FreedomWorks fired off a series of tweets this week encouraging Jordan to run for the speakership, diving headfirst into a GOP leadership race that started to heat up after Ryan’s retirement announcement last week.
“President Trump needs a strong, conservative Speaker of the House who will take on Mitch & Nancy. He needs Congressman Jim Jordan,” the group said in a tweet referencing both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“But Rep. Jordan’s still deciding whether he should run. Sign the petition to draft conservative champion Jim Jordan!”
“Conservatives agree that there is no better choice! #JimForSpeaker!” the group wrote in another tweet.
Jordan hasn’t officially thrown his hat into the ring for the top job yet, but he has expressed openness to the idea. The support from FreedomWorks and the group’s conservative activists could help bolster Jordan’s potential bid.
Still, it’s highly unlikely that Jordan — a conservative ringleader who has long been a thorn in the side of leadership — could secure the 218 votes needed to become Speaker.
But if Jordan decided to run for the job, it could draw dozens of conservative votes away from the front-runner and increase the chances that any candidate would try to cut a deal with the Freedom Caucus in exchange for their support.
A similar scenario played out in 2015, when Freedom Caucus leaders attempted to negotiate a deal with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). They promised to back him for Speaker if he pledged support for one of their own conservative members to become majority leader.
McCarthy ultimately dropped his bid, however, leading to the rise of Ryan.