Updated Oct 24, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump: Voting for Emmer as House speaker would be "a tragic mistake"

Former President Trump at Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, during his civil fraud trial. Photo: Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Former President Trump echoed the growing list of hardliners campaigning against House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), whose GOP nomination for House speaker Tuesday ultimately lasted only hours.

Why it matters: Trump has clashed with Emmer before, though the two reportedly had a "polite conversation" over the weekend, per NBC.

  • Like his predecessors, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Steve Scalise (R-La.), Emmer had struggled to cobble together the 217 votes needed to win the speaker's gavel on the House floor.
  • Emmer withdrew his candidacy for speaker Tuesday, shortly after Trump's public criticism.

What he's saying: "I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors. RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them," Trump, the GOP presidential frontrunner, said Tuesday in a Truth Social post.

  • "He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA—MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Trump said.
  • Trump said Emmer is "totally out-of-touch" with GOP voters and questioned whether Emmer has become "pro-Trump" only to win the speakership.
  • "Voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!" Trump added.

Catch up quick: Emmer was the third GOP lawmaker to secure the nomination since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted earlier this month.

  • The chamber has been without a speaker for weeks, unable to pass legislation as a government shutdown deadline looms.
  • Trump has reportedly opposed Emmer's bid in the past, though Emmer's allies have tried to counter the anti-Trump narrative, according to Politico.

Trump maintains a grip on the Republican party, with members of its hardline contingent having been vital in ousting McCarthy, who the former president had also backed earlier this year for the job.

  • Now that Emmer is out of the Speaker race, House GOP lawmakers are back to the drawing board — again.

Go deeper: What to know about Tom Emmer, the latest House speaker nominee

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional detials and developments.

Go deeper