Trump says he’d step in as speaker: ‘I’d do it for the party’

Right-wing Republicans led their caucus into chaos and now want Donald Trump to join the fray

John Bowden
Washington DC
Friday 06 October 2023 09:16 BST
Donald Trump calls Joe Biden a 'wretched old vulture'

The battle over the House speaker’s gavel could become a lot more complicated if allies of Donald Trump, eager as always to attach themselves to his name, succeed in drawing him into the fight.

That certainly seemed to be the aim on Thursday as Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene and other performance artists in the House suggested that Mr Trump himself could serve as a potential replacement speaker of the House, even if just for a short while.

“If Trump becomes Speaker of the House, the House chamber will be like a Trump rally everyday!! It would be the House of MAGA!!!” cheered the excited US congresswoman on Twitter.

There’s absolutely no reason to think that Donald Trump will become speaker of the House, “permanently” or otherwise. Any candidate for the job would need to win over at least half of the House of Representatives, and it’s worth speculating whether Mr Trump would even have the support of two-thirds of the House GOP caucus were he to run. No candidate appears to have the votes necessary to actually become speaker yet, Mr Trump included — and he’s further behind than most.

A number of House Republicans are actually running for the job, including Majority Leader Steve Scalise, whip Tom Emmer, and Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan.

But their efforts to coax Mr Trump back to DC are bearing some immediate fruit, even if the prospect of a Trump speakership is next to impossible.

On Thursday, The Messenger first reported that a number of House Republicans were in touch with Mr Trump’s team in the hopes of a visit from the former president aimed at rallying the House GOP into a unified caucus once more.

Fox News followed up that report by obtaining a statement from the former president in support of actually taking the job, were he to be nominated and win. But there wasn’t any mention of him appearing solely for the sake of party unity.

“I have been asked to speak as a unifier because I have so many friends in Congress,” the former president told Fox. “If they don’t get the votes, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer-term, because I am running for president.”

“They have asked me if I would take it for a short period of time for the party, until they come to a conclusion—I’m not doing it because I want to—I will do it if necessary, should they not be able to make their decision,” he added.

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