Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Live Event/Special
CNN International: Nominating Speeches for Third Speaker Vote; U.S. House Convenes for Third Time This Week to Pick Speaker; Third Vote for House Speaker Underway; This is Congressman Jim Jordan's Third Attempt to Win the Position; Jordan does not Appear to have the Votes for Speaker. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 20, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chair now recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts Ms. Clark.
REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): Thank you Mr. Chair. 212 it's a New York area code and it's our call for a Speaker of integrity, intelligence and inclusion. 212 is our call for a Speaker who will protect our children, our veterans, and our planet. 212 is our call for a Speaker who will grow the middle class, lower costs, create good paying jobs, and make healthcare affordable.
212 is our call for a Speaker who will secure liberty, justice and opportunity for everyone. Well, the unanimous call of 212 House Democrats has been answered by our nominee for Speaker, the gentleman from Brooklyn, the leader of our House Democratic Caucus, the Honorable Hakeem Jeffries.
Leader Jeffries has answered our call, but the majority's nominee is disconnected from the American people and their values. MAGA extremism is designed to divide and it has broken the Republican Party. Their nominee's vision is a direct attack on the freedom and the rights of the American people.
And he's got the record to prove it. The Republican nominee has voted against health care for children, for Veterans, even for 9/11 survivors. He has opposed lowering the cost of insulin repeatedly. He wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Don't take it from me.
It was raised on the other side of the aisle just this week as a selling point to make him Speaker. Over his 16 years in the House, the Republican nominee has never supported a Farm Bill. What does that mean? What does that mean? It means he has turned his back on farmers on rural communities and the 11 million children who go to bed hungry in this country.
The Republican nominee wants a national abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of a mother. We want to make our own health care decisions in consultation with our families, our doctors, and our faith not with Jim Jordan. The Republican nominee plotted to overturn the 2020 election, traffics in misinformation, and is a true threat to our democracy and our Constitution. I have had the privilege of working here in the people's House for almost 10 years. And I've gotten to know many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. And I know that you hear the same thing that I do. The American people expect us to work together on their behalf.
It is not too late for the majority to choose a bipartisan path forward to reopen the House. Take yes for an answer. Every day the majority chooses to engage in a Republican civil war that is threatening their own members, instead of engaging with us in the work of the American people is a day that weakens this institution and the standing of our country.
We need a Speaker who will govern through consensus, not conflict. We need a Speaker worthy of wielding that gavel, a leader who will defend democracy not to grade it. More than ever, we need proven, patriotic, people first leadership. And that is why I am proud to nominate Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker of the House.
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome to STATE OF THE RACE, I'm Kasie Hunt. You have been listening to nominating speeches on that floor of the House of Representatives as they try for a third time to pick a Speaker of the House on the Republican side. We are going to continue to listen in and hear.
Let's listen to the beginning of the vote. And then we're going to talk to our Melanie Zanona, let's listen for a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aderholt, Jordan. Aguilar, Jeffries. Alfred, Jordan. Allen, Jordan. Jeffries. -- Jordan. Armstrong, Jordan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: We are listening in to the beginning of the alphabet. We're listening for Don Bacon, Republican of Nebraska who has voted against Jim Jordan twice. He is coming up next. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Babin Jordan, Bacon McHenry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So, we heard there Don Bacon of Nebraska votes for Patrick McHenry that's still in the no column against Jim Jordan. But it's a sweat she had previously been saying, McCarthy that sort of underscores what is viewed right now as an alternative would be empowering the temporary Speaker, Patrick McHenry, to try to get Republicans out of this jam and let them start moving at least some legislation.
I want to bring in Melanie Zanona live on Capitol Hill. Melanie, if you are with me, we're going to keep listening along here. It's going to take us down into the B's Buchanan and Buck is the next ones we're listening for. So forgive me if I jump in over you.
But I know you and our Hill team have been working really long days and are looking at this and seeing more nose for Jim Jordan, more Republicans against Jim Jordan than perhaps we saw earlier this week. What is your latest reporting?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, the anticipation is that the opposition is only going to grow on this third ballot in fact, one Republican Marc Molinaro. He is a New York Republican. He just told him my colleagues, Lauren Fox that he plans to vote against Jordan even though he had voted for him on the first two rounds.
And we're hearing there are several others who may fall suit 22 Republicans voted against Jordan on the second ballot. It may be as high as 330 Republicans on this round. So that would be a huge problem for Jim Jordan and even some of his supporters that I've been talking to Kasie, I just talked to them before they went into the vote.
And they said they're willing to keep voting for Jordan today. But after that, they would not commit and they are urging against him to keep forcing this flurry of votes. They say that will backfire within the conference. They're urging him to take a break, reconsider and reassess because even they acknowledge and warn that there is no path for Jim Jordan here.
These holdouts are firmly dug in, in their opposition. And unlike when Kevin McCarthy was trying to deal with some of these detractors and win them over. These holdouts, there's nothing specific that they really want. They are against it on principle here. They don't like how this entire situation has played out.
They don't like how Kevin McCarthy was very unceremoniously ousted by just eight Democrats and all Republicans. Then they didn't like how the situation was Steve Scalise, their last nominee for Speaker --
HUNT: -- just for a second, I'm listening to Buchanan and Buck one second -- back to you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Jeffries, Buchanan, Donalds Buck and Emmer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: All right, Melanie we just listened to Vern Buchanan voted again for Byron Donalds. Ken Buck voted again for Tom Emmer. Again two people who did not vote for Jim Jordan. So we are maintaining that count so far. And I'm sorry I interrupted you. Yes, continue you were talking about Kevin McCarthy.
ZANONA: Yes. Well, I was just talking about the Kevin McCarthy the difference when Kevin McCarthy when he was going through this and Jim Jordan. So Kevin McCarthy also had two months lead time, before the Speaker's race to try to deal with these holdouts, try to make deals with them, run them over.
It still took them 15 rounds on the floor, but he was able to get there by offering them concessions, but in this case, these holdouts with Jordan, they don't want concessions. They just don't want Jim Jordan to be Speaker. And I'm told that Jordan huddled with some of those holdouts last night.
And they delivered a pretty blunt message to him, which is that you're not going to be Speaker and the right and honorable thing for you to do at this point is to drop out. So I do anticipate that those calls to drop out of the race are only going to grow, especially depending on what this third ballot looks like.
As I was saying before, some of even Jordan's own supporters are warning that the path is not there. So it's really a decision though up for Jim Jordan. It was interesting, though, to see Kevin McCarthy giving that nominating speech. Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scully is the past nominees have had somewhat of a rocky relationship over the years.
But Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan are close and McCarthy has been advising Jim Jordan. As of right now Jim Jordan strategy has been to try to grind out these opponents on the floor and really try to stick it out, wear him down. But there is a lot of bad blood in the conference right now.
And that is a strategy that could certainly backfire for Jim Jordan. So we'll see whether he continues to try to stick this thing out on the floor or if he decides to drop out of the race after today, Kasie?
HUNT: No very. Thank you, Melanie, for that reporting. I hope you're able to stick with us as we listen to this count. We are at -- , we've got a handful more before we get to Chavez-DeRemer, who had previously voted for McCarthy. We are at case. Let's listen to him for just a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeffries, Castor of Florida, Jeffries, Castor of Texas, Jeffries, Chavez-DeRemer, McHenry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: All right, we just heard Congressman Chavez-DeRemer vote for McHenry. So you're seeing a couple of these, people who voted previously for Kevin McCarthy switch sounds like they may be trying to make a statement around what they'd like to see happen next, which is an empowerment potentially of this temporary Speaker of the House, Patrick McHenry.
We've not got a little while until we get to a pair in the D's. Remember, this is alphabetical, which is why we're doing this this way. So I'm going to bring in my panel now Jackie Kucinich, she's a CNN Political Analyst. Joe Trippi, a Democratic Strategist and Kevin Sheridan, who is a Former Spokesperson for the Republican National Committee as we watch this together. Jackie Kucinich let me just go to you, because, you know, the big question here is what's Jim Jordan going to do? It seems like his allies are increasingly saying to us that if he if his support erodes on this vote, that going ahead would not be the right move.
There have been some conversations about them just staying down on the floor and doing this over and over again through the weekend until everybody gets tired of being there. It seems like a very unpleasant way to become Speaker if you're Jim Jordan, but at this point, I don't know what the alternative is for him.
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He hasn't really, this hasn't been like a hearts and minds type kind of campaign for Jim Jordan, you've had members. I mean, some of these numbers are dug in because their families are being threatened. And it's made them angry, because members of Congress don't like that, particularly the ones that have gone public.
With this information they are not going to move. So Jim Jordan has kind of boxed himself into a corner and keeping people over the weekend, forcing them to be away from their families. That's not going to give him where he needs to go. The other, you know, one of the most important differences -- lots of them between Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan, is that Kevin McCarthy had a lot of goodwill built up.
He spent money on Republicans, he went to their districts helps them get elected. Jim Jordan has done none of that and a lot of these -- he's actually alienated them and tried to block things that they wanted to come to the floor, from coming to the floor. So he doesn't have a well to go to, to continue, to lean on, honestly as he goes forward.
HUNT: Yes, I mean, and Kevin Sheridan, that is a, you know, primary difference. Kevin McCarthy has a lot of things but he is an optimist. He is someone who prefers to do business with honey rather than vinegar can avoid the beggar he's not avoid it, but he tries to avoid it. Jim Jordan -- .
KEVIN SHERIDAN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT: And he's a great operator, Kevin McCarthy, and he had the Caucus broadly supporting him. He did a really good job with the Freedom Caucus even up until that fateful vote that Matt Gaetz precipitated.
And now we're in this box where Jim Jordan has nothing he can give these people and they're dug in and they're not going anywhere. So we could vote all weekend, but it's not going to change -- .
HUNT: I'm going to get Joe to weigh in just a second but let's listen to him for a second because we are fast approaching Anthony D'Esposito and Mario Diaz-Balart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeffries -- , Jordan, D'Esposito, Zeldin, Diaz Balart, Scalise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: OK, we're going to listen here to a handful more names in the D section here before we get Jake Ellzey. He's the next person that we are listening for as one of the 22 who opposed Jim Jordan on the second round of voting here. We are currently standing at six if that holds, of course that is too many against Jim Jordan. For Jim Jordan, to get to the 217 that don't need to become Speaker of the House. So let's listen to now to see how Jake Ellzey votes today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Edwards, Jordan. Ellzey, Mike Garcia. Emmer, Jordan. Escobar, Jeffries. -- Jeffries --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: -- today the number in the House of Representatives is 214. That is the magic number to be Speaker of the House, not 217 that's because of absences. At least one Republican is in Israel today, which is part of what has contributed to that. We're continuing to listen through the early part of the alphabet here. Fallon and then we're going to hear in a second drew Ferguson, who previously voted for Steve Scalise. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ferguson, Scalise. -- Jordan. -- Jordan. Fitzgerald, Jordan Fitzpatrick, McHenry. Fleischman, Jordan. Fletcher, Jeffries. Flood, Jordan. Foster, Jeffries. Fushi, Jeffries. Fox, Fox. Luis Frankel, Jefferies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Alright so, we have been listening to this count we had drew Ferguson again previously voted for Steve Scalise to the same thing. But interestingly, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania had been a vote for Jordan. He voted for McHenry, part of his message.
Joe Trippi that seems to be being sent from some of these Republicans who have you know, been insisting. And Jim Jordan's been ignoring them that they can't support him for Speaker.
JOE TRIPPI, U.S. POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm sort of torn between, like watching the definition of insanity which is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result in.
HUNT: Yes now hold that thought because we're going to listen to for Andrew Garbarino.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Jeffries. Garbarino, Zeldin. (END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Garbarino goes for Zeldin. We've got four Garcia's in a row and then Carlos Gimenez who previously voted for McCarthy -- and then we'll continue discussing Joe whether this is the definition of -- . It's going to fail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Jeffries, Garcia of Illinois, Jeffries, Garcia of Texas, Jeffries, Gimenez, McCarthy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: All right. Let's pick up there, Carlos Gimenez voting for McCarthy, who actually well. Let's wait for Gonzalez with just a handful of names away here. So we are -- to 11 right now who are voting with someone other than -- George New York on the Republican side. Again, he needs 214 votes to become Speaker of the House today with the members who are attending.
It seems as though 11 would mean you know they can obviously change their votes we should make sure we -- caveat out there. Let's listen. That's another one who has not moved to continues to vote for someone other than Jim Jordan on the Republican side. And the next step we're listening for is Kay Granger, of course a top the Appropriations Committee.
The people on the Appropriations Committee who have been opposed to Jordan, in no small part because of the way he has handled funding or not funding the government over the course of his time in Congress. We're going to listen to for Granger's vote here in just a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Jeffries Granger, Scalise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Kay Granger sticks with Steve Scalise. Joe Trippi, we've now got a little bit of a break here to chat while we listen for the next person who we think may continue to oppose Jordan. You were talking about the definition of insanity.
TRIPPI: Yes, exactly. We will keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result they are getting a different result. It's going to be worse for Jim Jordan, which brings me to kind of the bullying tactics that have backfired, I think and that sort of, you know, the beatings will continue until morale improves.
I mean, it's how you make those two things work together. And resolve this is just beyond me. I've never seen anything like I don't think any of us have. And it is a party that's in chaos right now in putting a lot of very important things on the table for the country. I don't see how this is going to get resolved today at anyway.
HUNT: Who can take the keys?
KUCINICH: Right, who's going to tell Jim Jordan that it's time to go? I don't know the answer to that question that he's going to listen to.
HUNT: It seems at this point, he's not willing to listen to anyone. I mean, Kevin McCarthy, who nominated him today, has been advising him, frankly, helping him try to get where he's going, if anything has been urging him, hey, keep doing this.
TRIPPI: But it might be McCarthy has to go to him and say enough, but I don't know if McCarthy will do that.
HUNT: Right. Well, McCarthy did it 15 times himself.
HUNT: You know, before he got the outcome he was looking for. I mean, Jackie, when we say the beatings, Joe's words, the beatings will continue until morale improves, it does seem like that is the Jordan strategy sitting here right now. But the reality is that the way he's gone about this so far, is what is making it worse for him.
I mean, there was a voicemail left for the wife of a member of Congress that they won't even let me play on the air, because it's so offensive to the broadcast regulators in London, that, you know, I can't even show you the nasty things that were said to this woman, a family member, not even a member of Congress.
KUCINICH: When you add other members who had the sheriff at their daughter's school that again, does not win hearts and minds. That is not going to end and here's the thing when you become Speaker, then he has actual power. And how is he going to I mean, is this how they're going to actually whip members now?
I mean, it is an open question. I'm sorry that you know, if this is how you're trying to court members, it just that is not usually how you get people to fall in hearts and minds.
TRIPPI: It shows a complete denial of understanding the outcome and is accepting it. It's the same thing with Trump in the election denial. You know, the Jim Jordan help lead.
He's still denying rational reality that he cannot these votes aren't being cooked they're happening out in the open and the result is it keeps getting worse and he still digs in and fights on and that's why I do think its definition of insanity for his own party and for the country right now.
HUNT: Yes. So someone just happened there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Jeffries, Jackson of Illinois, Jeffries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Hauling for order in the House there we have a few more until we get to John James, who previously voted for Candice Miller of Michigan. Let's just listen in here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jackson Lee, Jefferies. Jacobs, Jefferies, James, Donalds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So John James switches from Candice Miller to Byron Donalds but stays away from Jim Jordan. So far, Jordan seems has not picked up any votes here? It sounds like the fall on the floor wasn't very much it was somebody who accidentally voted a instead of saying the name of someone.
That's how normally they would vote here on the floor of the House of Representatives. This has happened and this is the third time when Hakeem Jeffries has voted for himself that he's received a standing ovation from the Democrats on his side of the aisle. We've got a handful of names here, Kevin, so forgive me if I jump in. What's your take? I mean, as the Republican at the table, how they get out of this?
SHERIDAN: The pressure is going to start to mount when they realize they're not able to legislate, obviously, which most Republican voters are probably OK. For the most part, but they can't fundraise. These guys can't be --
SHERIDAN: You know they're starting to put their election prospects in real danger. And they're getting closer and closer to this shutdown deadline. They're just putting themselves in worse and worse position as the days go on. So they're going to have to get behind, get into a room and decide on someone else.
Maybe they go back to McCarthy, maybe they go to -- or maybe they go to someone else. But this isn't working.
HUNT: McHenry possibility seems to be something that's being influenced by McHenry himself. Because he seems to me to not really, really not want the job and there are reasons for that. I mean, he's got young kids at home and I'm going to interrupt myself here for a second Kevin, I'd like to keep talking about this after we hear from Mike Kelly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keating, Jeffries, Kelly of Illinois, Jefferies, Kelly of Mississippi, Jordan, Kelly of Pennsylvania, Scalise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: All right, so, Mike Kelley of Pennsylvania goes for Scalise previously voted for John Boehner, apparently. But we did hear another person against Jim Jordan who was in the -- Thomas Kane Jr. of New Jersey that of course a famous New Jersey family. Let's keep listening here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kildee, Jeffries, Kylie, Jordan, Kilmer, Jeffries, Kim of California, Jordan, Kim of New Jersey -- .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Jordan now about halfway through the alphabet here and already 17 opposing him remember a second go round. The rest 22 that opposed -- we've had two so far, Brian Fitzpatrick and Tom Kane who had voted for Jordan in the past. They are the ones who we have been predicting that this goat would be tougher for Jordan than it was earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: LaMalfa, Jordan -- Landsman, Jeffries, Langworthy, Jordan.
HUNT: Got to keep listening here for Mike Waller who has been very vocal from New York against Jim Jordan. All right, so that Kevin is really interesting. So, now we've got the fifth anti-Jordan vote that had previously gone to McCarthy or to somebody else that's gone to Patrick McHenry, they're trying to send him a message.
SHERIDAN: That's the caucus that wanting to Speaker Pro Tem gets to January and does this all over again. They're sending the message. Yes, that look, you see in the opposition votes that they're not unified on an alternative. There is no one alternative. So they're just saying not Jordan. And it doesn't matter who they're, they're picking but it's not him.
HUNT: I mean the other thing that's going on here, right, McHenry and the Jordan team has been whipping against the McHenry option, right. They've been telling their supporters don't do it. And it's, the argument they're making is that means coalition government with the Democrats, which is apparently, you know, which is untenable to the right wing of the conference, including people like Chip Roy.
The people that I would describe as like, you know, maybe less interested in personal fame like Matt Gaetz, more, you know, your sort of more typical hardline conservative. Do you think there's any world where the comments get there? Because I mean, it did become clear that the meeting, in the meeting yesterday, David Joyce wanted to move forward and say, hey, let's, let's do this. And if we lose Republicans, let's do with Democrats. And there wasn't a lot of appetite -- SHERIDAN: The public messaging on it, as soon as that kind of saw the light of day, they got hammered. From the conservative media that no, we're not, maybe not going to work with Democrats, this is not tenable. And it would have been very fragile to begin with, because you would have been cutting deals with the other side and they could have reneged (ph) on.
So I don't see that happening at this point, they're going to have to find an alternative that the Freedom Caucus can agree with and that the moderates can agree with. I don't know how they do it, but they got to get behind closed doors and start talking.
JOE TRIPPI, U.S. DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Unfortunately one more time, they're completely out of step with where the American people are. I mean, I think the American people would embrace a coalition. I mean, that's sort of what governing would look like, that we haven't seen in a long time. But I think there'd be no, I mean, I think that would be a great way out.
But I just don't see. It's not the Democrats wouldn't be open to that. It's in setting up rules and agreements. But I just don't see the appetite with Republicans at all. I mean, the same people that through McCarthy out are unlikely to and I think Jim Jordan's own statements, his hold narrative that you know, and the anger yesterday that we saw with a bunch of words, we can't say about --
SHERIDAN: What would be an electoral disaster for Republicans, if they did go into a coalition, I think, in a lot of ways, because their voters would, would run from it.
TRIPPI: But this is the whole problem of the party right now is hostage to those voters where I think a majority of the voters in the country are tired of it all in one would like to see some kind of common ground found. But I don't --
HUNT: Well certainly, I mean, our general election show, right that this is an incredibly narrowly divided country. And there are, you know, people that decide our elections are ones who are willing to go back and forth. The challenge is the increase in partisanship on either side.
And the electoral incentives in the House of Representatives are dictated by these districts that are increasingly drawn to be safe for the people that are in -- . Alright, I want to listen in here because we're coming up on two interesting names. We're listening for -- and Marc Molinaro.
So, that's another loss for Jim Jordan. Molinaro had previously been with him, but he joins other members of his New York delegation in throwing out Lee Zeldin, the fallen gubernatorial candidate in New York, former member of the House so that means we've got at least three additional from before, three people who had previously supported Jordan who are not supporting Jim Jordan on this third vote.
[11:35:00] And you know, Jackie Kucinich to go back to this conversation about coalition government. I mean, it seems like this is, Republicans are going to have to figure this out among themselves. But they don't appear to have any sort of way out as of this writing.
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I just want to -- so yesterday, there was reporting that Jim Jordan thought that they had actually flipped some of the New York members they're making progress apparently was in the opposite direction. And I think what we're witnessing and we talked about coalition building, you can coalition build within a party to, right.
I mean, there's the moderates, there's the conservatives, there's, you know, the appropriators. There are all these different people that you know, are all Republicans. But they don't, sometimes they don't see eye to eye, Jim Jordan has never had to build a coalition, because he's always been a bomb thrower, he's never had, he's doesn't have that skill.
And we're seeing how that plays out now, because it's all fun and games until you have actual responsibility. And that has not been his -- during his tenure.
TRIPPI: So this gets to the whole thing that started this thing with the -- with Matt Gaetz. I mean, they clearly had no clue, no plan, and no, no clue how they were going to proceed, had no candidate who could put the votes together. And, you know, from the Democratic side, the Republicans want to throw out McCarthy, who Democrats never trusted, and we're growing even deeper into distress.
Go right ahead. Well, you know, let that happen. Then the next one is Scalise who goes to white supremacist rally and declares he's David Duke, without the baggage. And no Democrats going to --
SHERIDAN: That's a very old charge. But I'm not going to defend Steve Scalise. But I think that's --
TRIPPI: No, but my point is from a democratic point of view, no one's going to rally to help him. And then you get to Jim Jordan, who led 139 members of this caucus to vote against certifying Joe Biden. And now, and so what I'm trying to say is there's no one that they've put forward McHenry possibly.
There are people that if they put forward, I think you would be able to have that coalition come together from the democratic side. But so far, none of the three that have been put up.
HUNT: Yes, I mean, look, I'll play out, I'll play out where you're going with this here. I mean, I do think somebody like Kevin, for example, Tom Cole is somebody who could --
SHERIDAN: He might be the only one.
HUNT: I mean, honestly, like, I feel like Tom Cole could probably if he was willing to be the Speaker of the House could might be able to get there once just among Republicans. SHERIDAN: He might be in a territory now where they've got to go convince somebody like Tom Cole to do it. And Tom Cole has said publicly, he does not want to be Speaker of the House.
HUNT: I mean, who wanted to be Speaker of the House?
SHERIDAN: Which is why, which is why you're getting these options. So much like Paul Ryan had to be convinced, I think he might have to get to that place. And we're not there yet. But they're going to have to get so desperate that they need to beg somebody.
TRIPPI: Yes. And I was trying to get into Scalise there, just talking about how from a democratic from our activists, you know, how was impossible to support any of them in some kind of coalition thing? I think there are. But I just don't, even when I get into that mindset and how does the Republican caucus come together around a call? Maybe they would.
SHERIDAN: Republican voters aren't going to let the one branch that they have the House, the only check on Democrats in Washington right now, go into a coalition without massive backlash from there.
HUNT: Well, let me talk about this a little bit. And Jack, I mean, you and I have been covering congress together, or we covered congress together for many, many years. When I first started covering congress, the right wing media ecosystem was in its relative infancy, right. I mean, you obviously had Fox News.
But those were institutionalist papers that had a conservative point of view, fine, very different from the atmosphere that has evolved. I mean, even if you look at Tucker Carlson's evolution, you can kind of trace that. I mean, the incentive system that went from the leadership of the House of Representatives, being able to hold things over these members heads, get them to do things, get them to get in line has completely flipped on its head to being one a fear of the outside.
That's where you're getting these threatening voicemails from, are people getting stirred up on conservative social media. Part of the struggles to see how with that being in place, any of this actually gets fixed.
KUCINICH: But if you're already seeing the backlash, right, it's not working. These members are not moving, right. It used to work. It worked during the impeachment; it worked in some other Trump era situations. But right now you're seeing a backlash. And it'll be interesting to see if that continues, because it's clear some of these members have had it.
But I think one of the other interesting things is the members that are going to end would end up in theory, going for coalition government are the most vulnerable. Are the ones that Jim Jordan does not have in his conference, he is not Speaker of the House anyway.
HUNT: Pause for one second, we're listening for here for John Rutherford. Alright, so John Rutherford, there sticks with his vote for Steve Scalise and in opposition to Jim Jordan. All right, we're going to get another little break here. And I mean, look, I absolutely take your point Jackie in terms of the fact that there is backlash here.
But I will also say that in, you know, I spent the entirety of the Trump Administration covering Republicans on Capitol Hill, asking them when were they going to stand up to Donald Trump? They always said, oh, we'll be fine. We'll be fine. We'll be fine.
This culminates in January 6. McCarthy stands up on January 6 says this is awful turns around two to three weeks later flies to Mar-a- Lago stands with Donald Trump. Here we are.
KUCINICH: And looks like we've got him. I mean, you know, it really, I'm not saying that this is like the beginning of a sea change or something in the Republican Party. But what I am saying, you are seeing more members stand up and say, you know, we need to govern this is ridiculous.
TRIPPI: Some of them have to, I mean --
SHERIDAN: The Biden district.
TRIPPI: Yes. Those Biden districts, the 18 members in those Biden districts. But they have they're realizing the longer they stay in there, the worse it's going to get through them at home, particularly with what's going on. I mean, one of the things I think is happening is the contrast continues between what Biden is doing and that just the TV -- everything.
KUCINICH: Well, the defense -- are joining with the moderates because of the Ukraine funding and because of Israel, not that Jordan is against funding Israel, but --
TRIPPI: But it's that contrast I think that is starting to really cause a deeper division in the caucus.
HUNT: We're listening in here for Mike Simpson, so I don't want to get too far down here. In fact, let's just listen in here. We're going to get a handful of people. Mike Simpson had voted for Steve Scalise. Let's listen to see if he's still -- like Simpson sticks with Scalise, the next person we're listening for Pete Stauber, Minnesota who votes in a different spot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already worse than it was yesterday their last vote.
HUNT: Yes, we've now got 23. So that is -- . We're going to listen to for Victoria -- -sparks who went back and forth, voted against Jordan on day one and with him on day two and has been a little all over the map generally. But it was worth seeing if she's going to join this tally, you can see now it says 23 are opposed to Jordan, so that is more than a post him on his second try at this. Let's listen for Victoria Spartz and then Pete Stauber. Victoria Spartz with Jim Jordan, Pete Stauber, and Minnesota sticks with Westerman as his choice. Now we've got a little bit more time here as we look to the end of the alphabet. Steve Womack is the only person left who had previously voted against Jim Jordan. He is at the very end, third to last.
So we have a little bit of time here to see that number standing at 24. It ultimately stood at 22 at the end of the second vote, Kevin. This really sending you knows another message. And look, one of the things I feel like we haven't talked about too much, Joe mentioned it.
And we talked about it in the context of Kevin McCarthy. But I do want to ask you about January 6. I mean, Jim Jordan is much more than just somebody who voted against certifying the election, right. He was forwarding emails to Mark Meadows; his name is all over the January 6 report.
You know, Liz Cheney's reaction to him on the floor when January 6 was actually unfolding where he seemed to go up to her in what I guess he thought was a gentlemanly way. And she sort of yanked her arm away from him and said, you effing did this right? It wasn't as polite as I have to be on television.
There's a lot more here and to the point that Ken Buck who for you know, people who have not like closely followed our American politics are watching overseas. I mean, I remember covering Ken Buck Senate campaign and it was like the original version of like what the party would become. He's now kind of the was the reason here.
So, you know, I guess I, I really -- it makes sense to me that people would struggle to believe he actually wants to like leave the place in a productive way.
SHERIDAN: Well, you articulated the reason why the Biden district members can't get on board. And you know, maybe they were there yesterday. I mean, they've considered it. But the more they think about it; those charges are going to hit them in campaign ads. Jim, there'll be running.
I mean, Jim Jordan will be the face of every campaign ad in those New York and California districts, which gave them the majority. And I think they're just coming to the realization that he's too toxic, and it's not going to work for whatever, you know, positive benefits of having a Freedom Caucus member actually leading their caucus, then they can, you know, put all the blame on him when things don't work. But I don't think they're going to get there.
TRIPPI: And it's also why Democrats I mean, this is the one candidate for the job. I mean, there's no way, there's no tangible way they could come and having him -- speaker. So do everything we can, they can, Democrats will to define -- exactly the way Kevin's talking about.
It will, you know, make what Republicans did with Nancy Pelosi look like child's play in terms of how it will impact these.
HUNT: And I'm glad that you raised Nancy Pelosi also, because Jackie, Kevin McCarthy would often say, well, it's really tough to get things done in this very slim majority for people. Nancy Pelosi managed to, to do OK, with a majority that was basically the same.
As you know, she passed a whole host of democratic priorities when she was running the House most recently. Her phrase, which I think is burned into my brain, after listening to it so many times, was our diversity is our strength. But our unity is our power.
One of the things that the Democratic leadership is really understood is that when they stay together, they can actually do more together. I think it's just worth kind of thinking about the fact that the personal recrimination and divides, I mean, yes, they're ideological. Yes, they're kind of the way you look at the world.
Yes, they are the politics that Kevin has pointed to. But at the end of the day, this is also extremely personal to the point that they're all I mean, every Republican who is involved in this is basically giving up power that the voters gave to them.
KUCINICH: Constituent Services is not just something that happens with members and voters. When your leadership that matters and you know, I think you can talk to Republicans, who would say that Nancy Pelosi was really good at her job when she was speaker.
And part of that was she had good staff that made sure the new members birthdays, silly things like that really matter to people. And it's not the only reason, but it's one of the reasons Nancy Pelosi was able to do that job, so athlete or when she had it. That said, you could also argue that the moderate members were forced to vote on things that may buzz on their seat, so in different intersections.
HUNT: Yep. All right, let's listen in here. We're coming up on Steve Womack, and the very end of the vote. So I want everyone to hear we're Steve Womack votes, whether that takes up to 25 that would be three more defections and the call at the end.
Steve Womack and votes for Scalise, so there you have it they are going to give anyone that wasn't there or missed the vote, a chance to vote here at the end. Well, I guess we didn't hear anybody have their name called and then not answer the call.
So they have concluded voting in the third round of Jim Jordan's attempt to become Speaker of the House. By our count 25 members Republicans have said they do not want Jordan to be Speaker of the House is significant contingent of them switch their vote to Patrick McHenry.
Patrick McHenry is of course the man sitting on the dais right now. You may notice he's usually the one in the bowtie with a pretty congenial look on his face. He typically has been somebody that's been well liked on both sides of the aisle, quite frankly, somebody who's more comfortable behind the scenes wielding power than in front of the cameras. He very much is not interested in having the job. Alright, let's listen in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Reading Clerk will now call the names of the members who did not answer the first roll call.
HUNT: So again ticking through some members that are absent from the chamber, the absences obviously have an impact if we're closer than we are to potentially picking a speaker. But the reality is there are not enough of them to make a difference at this point. Van Orden, they just called his name, he's in Israel. 25 against Jordan so far, let's listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Answer the call of the roll, they may come to the well and voted this time.
HUNT: All right, so those folks you see on the screen, they're called tellers. Even those of us who've covered congress for many, many years had not really seen very much of them until this situation with Kevin McCarthy. They're especially involved in counting votes when the House is tasked with picking a speaker.
I think it's important to remember that the speaker is actually a constitutional office. Many of the leadership positions inside congress on the Senate side and on the House side are simply those that are, they're formal in the party groups, Kevin, but they are not formal in terms of the United States government.
The Speaker of the House is uniquely different in that it is a constitutional officer; the president pro tem of the Senate is also a constitutional officer. But that is set simply by naming the longest serving member of the Senate doesn't actually of the party that controls the body.
It is not something that has to be chosen. It is it simply is. That's why you know, this is such an incredibly remarkable moment for the country. And I think that we shouldn't lose sight of that. We've been more than two weeks without a speaker.
And you know, I'm struck you were talking about this earlier. The three new people who voted against Jim Jordan who voted for someone other than Jim Jordan, Brian Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania, Tom Kane of New Jersey, Marc Molinaro of New York, these are all battleground Republicans.
SHERIDAN: Very tough districts for a Republican to win in and they do a really good job in servicing, servicing their constituents and maintaining a moderate profile. If they get tied to a Jim Jordan and campaign ads, if you're going to get dumped on their head and millions of dollars, it's going to be very tough for them, which is why I think you've seen them flip today.
HUNT: Jackie, what's next here? I mean, we've heard we know Jim Jordan is -- . Yes, I mean, I don't think anyone here in town is hoping in fact, I was talking to a congresswoman at 5 a.m. this morning, and I asked, you know, are you going to be here all weekend voting. She's a Democrat voting against Jim Jordan. For speaker she's like -- .
Don't say the weekend. I mean, the reality is very human. And that not only with Jim Jordan, anger, people by the tactics that he's using, and all the other things we've seen keeping people around for the weekend is like, extremely unpopular and probably losing more votes.
KUCINICH: Right. And so that I mean, I guess it's until Jim Jordan realizes that he's done and he is done. I mean, more members might flip against him, as you said, but until someone until he gives up, and that is not really something that he is known to do, unwillingly. They're going to keep voting like this.
HUNT: And will they go to 15?
KUCINICH: I don't think so. Because like, I mean, there will be lot of members.
HUNT: We got --
TRIPPI: But you know, this was so predictable from the get go when McCarthy allowed cutting the deal with the rule to vacate, change.
HUNT: The motion to vacate, right.
TRIPPI: Motion to vacate. You knew this moment was going to happen. I mean, the only question really was after those all those votes were when Matt Gaetz or somebody would pull the trigger on that.
And then to, which also makes it why would anybody want the job because you're now in the position even if you do solve this somehow with a call or somebody, will anybody agree with that rule or change that motion?
SHERIDAN: We're at 25 opposing Jim Jordan. I don't think Kevin McCarthy was ever close to 25 in a 15 rounds. I think they're going to see the writing on the wall, and they're going to have to go back behind closed doors and start working on a new, new alternative.
HUNT: A new plan. Alright, so just to recap, you have been watching the United States House of Representatives fail for a third time in a week to select Jim Jordan as the Speaker of the House. He is the designee of the Republican Conference. The U.S. House still, without a speaker, unable to fund two wars, keep the government open or do any of the other things that they are tasked with doing.
With that, I'm Kasie Hunt. That's the STATE OF THE RACE for today Friday, October 20. CNN special coverage continues after this quick break.