In a bold and unexpected move, House GOP Representative Carlos Gimenez, hailing from Florida, has vowed to throw his support behind former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the upcoming House-wide vote for the new speaker. Gimenez made his resolute stance clear, announcing that he won’t be endorsing either of the officially declared candidates but will, instead, rally behind Kevin McCarthy, a political ally he’s steadfastly supported since McCarthy’s recent ouster by eight GOP hardliners and every House Democrat.
Gimenez didn’t mince his words as he spoke exclusively to Fox News Digital, stating, “I’m still with Kevin McCarthy. I think that what happened to him was a travesty, and I just don’t wish to be part of it. I’ll continue to vote for Kevin until Kevin tells me that he’s no longer a candidate.”
This surprising development unfolded amidst a whirlwind of political maneuvering as Majority Leader Steve Scalise from Louisiana and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan from Ohio made their final pitches in a closed-door House GOP forum. This forum was a prelude to a significant conference vote to pick the Republican Party’s new nominee for the gavel.
McCarthy himself sent shockwaves through the political landscape when he conveyed to reporters that he had asked Republicans not to nominate him as a candidate in the upcoming closed-door vote. Gimenez, however, emphasized that McCarthy’s request not to be nominated shouldn’t be misconstrued as a plea not to be voted for. He underscored that Scalise and Jordan, the declared candidates, would effectively serve in the same capacity as McCarthy, emphasizing that there was little reason to shift their support.
Gimenez’s decision to leave the candidate forum early was deliberate. He drew an analogy to his love for movies, stating, “I’m a big fan of movies, but I don’t see them over and over again. And I’ve seen this movie, so I didn’t feel like looking at it again.” However, his resolve to attend the vote on Wednesday remained unshaken, and he reaffirmed his loyalty to Kevin McCarthy.
Gimenez’s prediction was clear: he anticipated that others within the party would also rally behind McCarthy. The consequences of such a united front could be substantial for the GOP, given their razor-thin majority in the House. In this delicate political balance, a candidate vying for the role of speaker can afford to lose just four votes and still secure the majority needed to claim the position.
Amid this pivotal moment, House Republicans are engaged in a vigorous debate about potentially raising the threshold required to choose a speaker candidate from a simple majority within the conference to a 217-House-wide majority. The decision on this matter is likely to shape the future of the party’s leadership in the House.
As the political chessboard continues to evolve, Carlos Gimenez’s audacious declaration adds a new layer of intrigue to the ongoing power struggles within the Republican Party.