Representative Tom Emmer speaks to reporters at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2023.
House Republicans are once again struggling to find a way forward after Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer He abandoned his bid for the presidency just hours after winning his party’s nomination.
The rapid exit from the race is the latest sign that Republicans are no closer to electing a new president three weeks after the historic ouster of Kevin McCarthy.
Republicans will hold another speaker candidate forum Tuesday night, several members told CNN. There are five candidates in the running following Emmer’s abrupt withdrawal from the race: Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Mark Green also of Tennessee, Mike Johnson of Louisiana and Roger Williams of Texas.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., told reporters he believes they will try to vote on a new candidate immediately after the forum.
The House remains in a state of paralysis and Republicans remain unable to govern, as the conference has repeatedly failed to unite around a McCarthy successor amid deep division within the ranks.
The politically precarious situation has plunged the House into uncharted territory, as it seems increasingly unclear whether any Republican will be able to obtain the 217 votes needed to win the gavel.
Emmer is now the third Republican to win the Republican conference nomination only to then drop out of the race after failing to secure the votes needed to win the gavel.
After winning the party’s nomination in a secret election on Tuesday, Emmer faced swift opposition from the right flank of his conference, as well as a major rebuke from former President Donald Trump. In a post on Truth Social, Trump called Emmer is a “globalist RINO” and said voting for him “would be a tragic mistake.” Trump later said he had a “huge impact” after Emmer retired.
Emmer voted to certify the 2020 election, voted to keep the government open for 47 days, voted for bipartisan legislation to prevent a debt default, and voted to codify same-sex marriage : all issues that members of the extreme right had cited as issues for their candidacy.
Members of Trump’s team also called members of the Republican Party and urged them to oppose Emmer as president, two sources told CNN.
Despite a cordial phone call with the former president over the weekend, Trump again posted attacks on the Republican House whip on Truth Social on Monday night and then followed up with his own attack after Emmer was nominated.
Leaving a Republican Party conference meeting Monday night, Emmer told CNN, “We have a good relationship,” when asked about Trump.
Following Emmer’s withdrawal from the race, Republican Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas warned that the GOP is at an “impasse” and said he doesn’t know if they can resolve their internal differences and find a speaker.
“Right now, I think it’s clear to the American people that the Republican Party conference is hopelessly divided. It can be overcome? “Never say never,” he stated. “But right now there are signs that this conference is at a kind of stalemate.”
This story and headline have been updated with additional information. developments.