EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Voting Against Jordan Are Doing It To ‘Spite Matt Gaetz,’ Members Say

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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A number of House Republicans believe many of their colleagues who have voted against House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan to be the next Speaker of the House are doing so to spite Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, the Daily Caller has learned.

Gaetz, who forced the motion to vacate the chair vote in early October that successfully removed Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy from office, has continued to face criticism from many House Republicans for going against the status quo and holding McCarthy’s feet to the fire.

Many Republicans who are voting for Jordan and also voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker are saying they believe it could be seen as a win for Gaetz if someone such as Jordan was elected Speaker, instead of a more moderate candidate such as House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who dropped out of the race to support Jordan.

“I have been told by a good number of people that their objection isn’t personal to Jim, it is that voting in Jordan is perceived to be rewarding Matt Gaetz and the rest of the eight. Others have indicated that some of Jim’s supporters wouldn’t support Scalise and so the holdouts won’t support Jordan,” Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs told the Caller.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace, who ended up voting against McCarthy and has been supporting Jordan, told the Caller she believes GOP members who “oppose Jim Jordan” are doing it “purely to spite Matt Gaetz.”

“The American people want a speaker who will be honest and represent them, not business as usual in Washington. It is disgraceful for a number of elected officials, many of them in safe GOP districts, to oppose Jim Jordan purely to spite Matt Gaetz,” Mace told the Caller.

“Voting against the will of your constituents to get back at a fellow Member is the definition of the swamp. We hope the American people see who is standing with them and who is standing with Washington,” she added. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Donors Pledge To Withhold Funding From GOP Members Who Vote Against Jim Jordan For Speaker)

Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Good said the GOP has no alternative and that while he cannot speak for the 22 members who opposed Jordan, he believes there are members voting against Jordan who are “disappointed” about the fact the party has to elect another Speaker.

“Well, I would point out that Jim Jordan is a centrist Republican leader in terms of the conference. Jim Jordan has his roots obviously in the conservative movement, founding of the Freedom Caucus and so forth. However, everyone knows he’s been a loyal team member of the leadership group in the conference, having been a chairman having supported Kevin McCarthy multiple times, not just voting for him, but endorsing him giving floor speeches to nominate and defend him. He supported Steve Scalise when he was the majority vote-getter last week. And so Jim Jordan represents the control center and that’s why he’s got 200 votes,” Good told the Caller.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) arrives in the House chamber as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. The House has been without an elected leader since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from the speakership on October 4 in a move led by a small group of conservative members of his own party. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“While I wouldn’t pretend to be able to crawl into the minds of the 22 who voted against him yesterday. I would point out they have no alternative. No one else has a supportive right at 200 members of our conference, there are no other candidates… In this case, these individuals are not only voting against the party here in DC, they’re also voting against the wishes of Republicans across the country and against the person who I would submit as the second most popular Republican in the country.

“I’ll resist trying to apply my opinion on what their motivations might be. But obviously, there are members of our conference who are disappointed or disapprove of how or why we got to this point, the fact that we’re having to select the speaker, however, we are at this point. And so what is the right path forward for the good of the country, the good of the conference, the good of the conservative Republican agenda, our ability to fight the Biden, Schumer, radical regime and policies under which the American people are truly suffering,” Good added.

Meanwhile, Gaetz told the Caller that the only thing the 22 Republicans voting against Jordan are doing is hurting their voters.

“The only people being punished are their constituents. Republican voters across the country are united behind Jim Jordan,” Gaetz told the Caller. (RELATED: Here Are The 22 Republicans Who Voted Against Jim Jordan For Speaker In Second Ballot Vote)

Ohio Republican Rep. Warren Davidson told the Caller that electing Jordan for Speaker would not be rewarding the eight people who voted to remove McCarthy from the Speakership and that it would be a win for Americans.

“The motion to vacate undoubtedly caused internal pain, yet this is not a reason to block the person who can lead our conference. Electing Jim Jordan as Speaker is not rewarding the eight, it’s a win for the American people and the Republican agenda,” Davidson said.

The Caller also contacted all of the 22 Republicans who voted against Jordan to see if the reason they voted against Jordan was due to Gaetz and the original motion to vacate the chair, to which only a few responded by the deadline.

Here Are The 22 Republicans Who Voted Against Jordan: 

  • Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon voted for Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.
  • Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan voted for Florida Rep. Byron Donalds.
  • Colorado Rep. Ken Buck then voted for House Majority Whip Tom Emmer.
  • Oregon Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer voted for McCarthy.
  • New York Rep. Anthony D’Esposito voted for New York GOP Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin.
  • Florida Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart voted for Scalise.
  • Texas Rep. Jake Ellzey voted for California Rep. Mike Garcia.
  • Georgia Rep. Drew Ferguson voted for Scalise
  • New York Rep. Andrew Garbarino voted for Zeldin.
  • Florida Rep. Carlos Giménez voted for McCarthy.
  • Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales voted for Scalise.
  • Texas Rep. Kay Granger voted for Scalise.
  • Michigan Rep. John James voted for former Michigan Rep. Candice Miller
  • Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly voted for former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
  • Virginia Rep. Jen Kiggans voted for McCarthy.
  • New York Rep. Nick LaLota voted for Zeldin.
  • New York Rep. Mike Lawler voted for McCarthy.
  • Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks ended up voting for Granger.
  • Florida Rep. John Rutherford voted for Scalise.
  • Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson also voted for Scalise.
  • Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber voted for Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman.
  • Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack voted for Scalise.

Out of the 22 contacted only five responded to the Caller with previous statements and denied their vote against Jordan had anything to do with Gaetz. Those members were Reps. LaLota, Kiggans, D’Esposito, Simpson and Garbarino. The other GOP members’ offices refused to respond to the deadline given.

Jordan announced Thursday that he will support Speaker pro-Tempore Patrick McHenry to be the temporary Speaker of the House until January after failing to receive the necessary 217 votes twice. (RELATED: Jim Jordan To Back Patrick McHenry For Temporary Speaker Of The House, Will Remain Speaker Designee)

A source familiar told the Daily Caller that Jordan “will continue to run and try to shore up votes until then. Remains speaker designee. Not dropping out. McHenry temporary till January.”

Jordan announced that he will not hold a third vote for Speaker, as planned, and that he will get behind the plan to temporarily empower McHenry until Jan 3. Jordan will remain the speaker designee.