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Ohio newspaper article warns Jim Jordan will form "axis of evil" with Trump

An Ohio newspaper published a strong rebuke of Representative Jim Jordan in an opinion column on Sunday, warning that the Republican congressman will form an “axis of evil” with former President Donald Trump if he’s chosen as the new House speaker.

After Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, was ousted from the speakership in a historic 216-210 vote on October 3 when Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, spearheaded an effort to remove him, House Republicans began voting on a nominee to replace him. While both House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jordan of Ohio decided to run for speaker, Scalise withdrew from consideration on Thursday, leaving Jordan to be chosen as the new nominee with 152 votes.

Cleveland.com, which produces content for The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper by circulation, published an opinion column on Sunday in response to Jordan’s nomination.

The column, written by Brent Larkin who was The Plain Dealer‘s editorial director from 1991 until his retirement in 2009, expressed disapproval of Jordan as a nominee for House speaker and provided a strong warning against the congressman and Trump, the frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, if both are successful in attaining the positions they are seeking.

“Just maybe, deep in the recesses of their souls, the prospect of this country having its very own Axis of Evil frightened even them. As it should. Because that’s precisely what would become of the United States with Donald Trump as president and Jordan as House speaker. Placing second in the line of presidential succession, a man willing to besmirch everything America stands for in service of Trump by rights should prove too risky for many of the House’s 221 Republican members,” Larkin wrote.

While Trump endorsed the congressman last week in a post to Truth Social, Jordan will need to attain 217 votes in order to win the position of speaker.

However, amid campaigning for the 2024 presidential election, Trump continues to face charges in two federal cases, one surrounding the January 6, 2021, riot at the United States Capitol building and the other related to classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

In addition, New York prosecutors have also charged him in relation to an alleged hush money payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign, and an Atlanta-area grand jury indicted him on charges stemming from an investigation into his alleged attempts at overturning Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.

Trump, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to all charges in all cases.

Larkin’s column also breaks down Jordan’s controversial history and reiterates how detrimental it would be for America if the congressman wins the speakership position.

“Jordan apparently remains a viable option to replace the ousted speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy. They’re mistaken. Jordan is a follower, not a leader…Eventually, Jordan either reappears empty-handed or emerges holding a fistful of lies designed mainly to harm some honest and hard-working American who loves his or her country,” Larkin wrote.

The column comes after Republicans such as former Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, along with former GOP communications director Tara Setmayer, voiced their disapproval of Jordan and the subsequent disarray of the Republican Party.

While Kinzinger predicted Jordan would win the nomination, his disapproval is also noted as he posted his reaction on Friday to X, formerly Twitter, saying, “Good job everyone. This country cannot have Jim Jordan as speaker.”

Cheney and Setmayer condemned Jordan this past week for his history and close allyship to the former president, along with his alleged involvement in efforts to keep Trump in power after losing the 2020 election.

“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,” Cheney, who served as one of two Republicans on the January 6 select committee alongside Kinzinger, wrote on X on Friday. “If Rs nominate Jordan to be Speaker, they will be abandoning the Constitution. They’ll lose the House majority and they’ll deserve to.”

While Setmayer said on Saturday, “This is just an example of the absolute desperation of the Republican caucus, that Jim Jordan has been nominated for Speaker, it tells you everything you need to know about the degeneration of the House GOP and the party as a whole.”

However, McCarthy says he feels Jordan will be able to win over more House members to secure the speakership.

“Yeah, but he’ll get there. I don’t see a problem with him not getting there,” he said to CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju in a hallway of the U.S. Capitol after Jordan’s nomination was announced.

Despite Jordan’s nomination, Democrats are backing House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York for the role, with voting expected to continue on Monday.

Newsweek has reached out to Jordan and Trump via email for further comment.

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