Former President Donald Trump offered a full-throated endorsement of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become House speaker Wednesday morning, urging all Republicans to ‘VOTE FOR KEVIN.”
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ’HOUSE’ TWICE!,” the former president said in a posting on his Truth Social platform.
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” Trump said.
Moments later, Trump added: “TAKE THE VICTORY AND RUN!!!”
The hearty endorsement for McCarthy, who failed to win the speakership in three ballots on Tuesday, comes after Trump gave a less than enthusiastic response when asked after the votes whether he was still in the California Republican’s corner, saying “we’ll see what happens.”
“I got everybody calling me wanting my support. But let’s see what happens and we’ll go — I got everybody calling, wanting my support,” the 76-year-old former president told NBC News. “That’s all I can say. But we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it all works out.”
McCarthy said Tuesday night that he had spoken to Trump and the 45th president still backs his bid.
“Trump has already reiterated his support; I talked to him tonight,” McCarthy told reporters after a closed-door meeting with allies.
Asked if Trump wanted him to keep pursuing the speaker’s gavel, McCarthy said, “Oh, yeah.”
“He thinks it’s better that all the Republicans get together and solve this, it doesn’t look good for Republicans, but we want to be able to solve it where we’re stronger in the long run,” he said. “Where what we went through today in the end becomes a positive that we’re actually focused, united.”
The House adjourned Tuesday night after McCarthy failed to get the 218 votes in the chamber to win the post.
There are 222 Republicans in the House, so McCarthy can only afford to lose four to reach the threshold required.
But in Tuesday’s voting, 19 GOP members voted against him on the first two ballots, while 20 opposed him on the third.
Trump, in another posting Wednesday morning, said if Republicans want to fight they should grapple with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership.
“If Republicans are going to fight, we ought to be fighting Mitch McConnell and his domineering, China loving BOSS, I mean wife, Coco Chow. The harm they have done to the Republican Party is incalculable,” Trump said, once again repeating a racial slur against Elaine Chao.
“Today, he couldn’t be elected ‘Dog Catcher’ in Kentucky (Sadly, he only won because of my Endorsement, went up 21 points – SORRY!),” Trump added.
Chao, who served as Transportation secretary in the Trump administration, has asked the media not to repeat the “racist” comments from the former president.
Voting is expected to continue Wednesday afternoon.