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Updated Oct 24, 2023, 5:13pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Rep. Tom Emmer drops out of House Speaker race

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Rep. Tom Emmer dropped his bid for the speakership Tuesday afternoon, barely four hours after the Minnesota Republican secured the GOP nomination.

It was the quickest exit yet for a Republican seeking the speaker’s gavel, the third in less than a month and a sign that the House GOP’s toxic blend of grievance and ideological clashes isn’t abating anytime soon. Though Emmer emerged the victor after a series of secret ballots, he almost immediately crashed into fierce resistance from former President Donald Trump who shredded him as a “Republican in Name Only.”

“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 posted on Truth Social. “He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA,” Trump said.

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Emmer failed to attract enough support from Republicans amid a conservative backlash about his past votes, which included certifying the 2020 presidential election and supporting the federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

“He has a voting record I couldn’t support and most Republicans, conservative Republicans, don’t support,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., told reporters.

House Republicans are expected to reconvene at 6pm for Tuesday’s second forum where lawmakers will hear speaker candidates make their case that they can win 217 votes, the threshold necessary to become speaker relying only on GOP votes. Among the Republicans expected to jump back into the race: Reps. Mike Johnson, R-La., and Kevin Hern, R-Okla.

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Kadia Goba contributed reporting.

This is a breaking news story. Please return for updates.

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