US Rep. Tom Emmer, the House majority whip who dropped his campaign for speaker after it was at risk Tuesday afternoon, has sought to appeal to the Republican Party’s Donald Trump support while maintaining a moderate voting record. Before Kevin McCarthy’s historic fall on October 3, the Minnesota Republican emerged as House Republicans’ next speaker contender hours earlier. Emmer could only lose four Republicans with a razor-thin GOP majority in the House, yet 26 voted against him privately.
After calling Trump over the weekend, the former president proceeded to criticize Emmer on Truth Social. Several Republican opponents of Emmer told CNN Tuesday they would not modify their views and urged for a new candidate. The Republican conference’s right-wing has criticized Emmer for voting for the bipartisan debt default reduction and same-sex marriage bill.
Perhaps most crucially, he voted to certify the 2020 presidential election results, against Trump’s repeated claims that they were fraudulent. Emmer has always supported the former president. Emmer also declined to claim Joe Biden won the election and criticized the press for calling the race after the 2020 election in interviews and public statements examined by CNN’s KFile before the speakership vote.
The 2014 congressional debutant from Minnesota became majority whip this year. Before losing the 2010 Minnesota governorship, Emmer was a state lawmaker from 2004 to 2008. He is a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman and House Financial Services Committee member.
Emmer has managed the GOP’s tight majority as majority whip. The temporary House speaker, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, told CNN in January that Emmer helped negotiate the 20 hardliners’ deal with the speaker’s office that gave McCarthy the gavel after 15 ballots. McCarthy encouraged the conference to pick the Minnesota Republican speaker before the end of the week. “This is not a time for speaker training. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, he claimed Tom could start the job right now.