House speaker race: Boebert says Trump should call McCarthy and tell him ‘it’s time to withdraw’
House GOP firebrand Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., called on former President Trump to pressure Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to withdraw his name from consideration to be the next House speaker.
Boebert rose on the House floor Wednesday to nominate Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., for House speaker in the fifth round of voting. After two days, McCarthy is no closer to becoming House speaker as conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have not budged on their demands for new House rules and new leadership.
Boebert addressed Trump in her nominating speech for Donalds, speaking out against efforts by establishment Republicans and McCarthy supporters to break the logjam.
‘Let’s work together. Let’s stop with the campaign smears and tactics to get people to turn against, even having my favorite president call us and tell us we need to knock this off,’ Boebert said on the House floor.
‘I think it actually needs to be reversed,’ she added. ‘The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that, sir, you do not have the votes, and it’s time to withdraw.’
Earlier Wednesday, Trump urged House Republicans to unite around McCarthy, his ally and friend, but the holdouts ignored his request.
‘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,’ Trump posted on Truth Social.
‘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! REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT,’ the 2024 presidential candidate continued.
In spite of his plea, McCarthy failed to secure enough votes to become House speaker on both the fourth and fifth ballots. In new developments Wednesday afternoon, 20 Republicans voted for Florida Republican Byron Donalds, including himself, and Indiana Republican Victoria Spartz defected from supporting McCarthy to voting ‘present’ in Wednesday’s first round of votes, the fourth overall.
McCarthy can only lose 4 GOP votes and win the minimum 218 needed to be elected House speaker. The vote result Wednesday was a sign that McCarthy has not yet made any significant progress convincing the group of hardline Republicans to support him, and also signaled that these members appear to prefer anyone to McCarthy.
House Democrats have remained united behind incoming House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., in all five rounds of voting, with all 212 casting a vote for him. However, some Democrats have suggested they may be willing to end the stalemate by supporting a ‘unity candidate,’ if a moderate emerges as an alternative to McCarthy. That scenario remains unlikely and McCarthy has so far refused to back down.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar and Kelly Laco contributed to this report.