Following the announcement that Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, was chosen on Friday as the new nominee for House speaker, former Representative Adam Kinzinger shared his reaction to it on Friday.
House Republicans met Wednesday in hopes of agreeing on which person to vote for to replace California Representative Kevin McCarthy, who drew conservative revolt after working with Democrats on a short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown. The House voted to remove McCarthy after Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, introduced a motion to vacate. While both House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jordan decided to run for speaker, Scalise withdrew from consideration on Thursday, leaving Jordan to be chosen as the new nominee.
In a post to X, formerly Twitter, Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, shared his reaction on Friday to the news by seemingly condemning the choice of Jordan and wrote, “Good job everyone. This country cannot have Jim Jordan as speaker.”
In addition to his X post, Kinzinger posted a video to his Substack detailing the behind the scenes events leading up to Jordan winning the GOP nomination and giving some insight into why he hopes Jordan is not chosen to be the next House speaker.
“I made the prediction that Jim Jordan was going to be the guy. I hope this isn’t the case, I still hold to that and the reason is because, the people that hold out against Jim Jordan are the moderates, kind of the normal folks so to speak and they are the ones pretty quick to collapse because they just want to go along and get along. I mean I was one of them, so I know what that’s like, where you are just tired of the fight,” Kinzinger said.
The former GOP representative had previously stated his thoughts on Jordan becoming the next House speaker. In a Wednesday interview on CNN‘s Anderson Cooper 360, Kinzinger said, “Jim is going to be now the new litmus test of: Are you a true conservative or not? Steve Scalise won’t be. It’ll be Jim Jordan. And so there will be a slow acquiescence of everybody to Jim Jordan. That’s my prediction.”
He added: “I certainly hope, for the country, I’m wrong. But I’ll also say this: If he becomes speaker, it will be interesting to see how a shut-it-all-down kind of guy actually governs a country.”
The criticism towards Jordan comes after former GOP Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming warned Republicans that nominating Jordan for the speakership could cost them the majority in the lower chamber.
In a post to X on Friday, Cheney condemned Jordan’s close allyship to former President Donald Trump and his alleged involvement in efforts to keep Trump in power after losing the 2020 election. The Ohio lawmaker was previously found by the January 6 House select committee to be a “significant player,” but is not facing any criminal charges.
“Jim Jordan was involved in Trump’s conspiracy to steal the election and seize power; he urged that Pence refuse to count lawful electoral votes,” wrote Cheney, who served as one of two Republicans on the January 6 select committee alongside Kinzinger. “If Rs nominate Jordan to be Speaker, they will be abandoning the Constitution. They’ll lose the House majority and they’ll deserve to.”
Meanwhile, Trump endorsed Jordan last week in a Truth Social post, writing, “He will be a great Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement.”
While speaking with CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju in a hallway of the U.S. Capitol after Jordan’s nomination was announced, McCarthy was seemingly confident that Jordan will become the next speaker. After being asked by Raju if the Ohio representative can continue to run for speaker after only receiving 152 votes on the nominating ballot, while a candidate is required to receive at least 217 votes among the House in its entirety, McCarthy responded by saying he feels Jordan will be able to win over more House members.
“Yeah, but he’ll get there. I don’t see a problem with him not getting there,” McCarthy said.
Despite the nomination, Jordan still faces more criticism as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, told reporters on Friday, “House Republicans have just elected a speaker nominee who in 16 years in Congress hasn’t passed a single bill, because his focus has not been on the American people, his focus has been on peddling lies and conspiracy theories and division.”
Newsweek has reached out to Jordan via email for further comment.