Trump claims only Jesus Christ could get the votes for House speaker

‘There’s only one person that can do it all the way. Do you know who that is? Jesus Christ,’ former presidenrt says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 24 October 2023 14:15 BST
Trump backs Jesus Christ for House Speaker

Donald Trump has suggested that the only candidate able to receive the required number of votes to become speaker of the House would be Jesus Christ, possibly in an attempt to lock down evangelical Christian votes ahead of the 2024 Republican primary.

The former president was speaking to the press on Monday while filing to run in the New Hampshire primary, noting that only being able to lose four votes within the GOP House conference to become speaker makes it a difficult hurdle regardless of the candidate.

“That four threshold is very tough. It’s a very tough thing, no matter who it is. There’s only one person that can do it all the way. Do you know who that is? Jesus Christ,” Mr Trump said.

“If Jesus came down and said, ‘I want to be Speaker,’ he would do it. Other than that, I haven’t seen, I haven’t seen anybody that can guarantee it,” he added.

Mr Trump didn’t endorse any specific candidate, having spoken to several of them over the weekend.

“Something’s going to happen. It’ll be positive. It’ll end up working well. I’m staying above it. I have to, right now,” Mr Trump said. “But I’ve spoken to just about all the candidates, quite a few of them, and they’re terrific people.”

Earlier in the speaker’s race, Mr Trump backed Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH), whose nomination ended on Friday after he lost an internal GOP ballot.

Mr Trump was asked about his relationship with House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, the frontrunner in the race, who has frantically been trying to quash the narrative that he’s not supportive of the former president.

Mr Emmer and his staff worked overtime over the weekend making calls, including one to Mr Trump. The call between Mr Trump and Mr Emmer has been described as cordial, even as Mr Trump has been telling associates that he doesn’t want Mr Emmer as speaker, bothered by his vote to certify the 2020 election and believing that he hasn’t been sufficiently defending him in public amidst his broadening legal woes.

“Will you endorse Emmer? He hasn’t always been your biggest fan…” a reporter asked Mr Trump in New Hampshire on Monday.

“He’s my biggest fan now because he called me yesterday and told me he’s my biggest fan,” Mr Trump said.

“I’m trying to stay out of that as much as possible, but they’ll get it straightened out,” he added. “I’ve always gotten along with him. I get along with all of them really.”

Other Republicans have jokingly used the idea of Jesus becoming speaker to outline the divisions within the party.

Rep Mark Alford (R-MO) told NBC News previously that “someone said you could put Jesus Christ up for Speaker of the House and he still wouldn’t get 217” – the number of votes needed on the floor to become speaker.

He added that there are “people with issues that are deep and beyond anything that I can imagine”.

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