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Jim Jordan fans at rally urge his selection as House Speaker

September 27, 2018

Jim Jordan fans at rally urge his selection as House Speaker

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Red “Make America Great Again” caps intermingled with blue “I Stand With Jim” caps outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, as hundreds of Champaign County GOP Rep. Jim Jordan’s hardcore fans descended on Capitol Hill for a rally to urge that he become the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Jim is a man who as Speaker will be a tireless champion for President Trump’s agenda - the agenda that Republicans across our country campaigned on and won,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor told a crowd waving  signs with messages like “Drain the Swamp,” and “Confirm Kavanaugh.”

For two hours, Tea Party advocates and House Freedom Caucus members took to the stage in the sticky heat to praise President Donald Trump, urge U.S. Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and denounce Democrats as well as Republican politicians who failed to deliver on campaign promises like repealing Obamacare.

“Just because you have an R next to your name doesn’t mean you are for cutting spending and giving power back to the people,” said Young Americans for Liberty president Cliff Maloney, Jr.. “We have got to hold Republicans accountable.”

Jordan himself took the the stage, pledging to “do what we told the American people we were going to do.”

“If we keep the majority and I’m given a chance, we’re going to work on making sure we build the border security wall, reforming welfare, replacing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood,” Jordan said. “That’s what’s at stake.”

The president of the FreedomWorks organization that held the rally, Brecksville native Adam Brandon, said Jordan appeals to grassroots activists because his voting record matches up with his campaign rhetoric, in contrast to many other Republicans.

“Politics today is about authenticity more than it is money,” Brandon said.  “Now it’s about your connection to the grassroots. ”

He said that Republican activists were planning to visit their members of Congress to urge Jordan’s selection as Speaker, and expressed faith that continuous pressure on Jordan’s behalf will help overcome resistance to his selectoin.

Many Republicans view Jordan and the Freedom Caucus group he founded as obstructionists who block sensible compromises that have the potential to become law. Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan has endorsed House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California for the job.

“Their constituents are not telling them ’We want McCarthy,” said Brandon.

When asked Jordan’s chances of becoming House Speaker, Niles Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who recently challenged Nancy Pelosi for the job of House Democratic Leader, said they’re “hopefully, not very good.”

Ryan says he hopes Democrats take control of Congress in the upcoming election. If Republicans retain control, Ryan said he doesn’t think Jordan would have much appeal to Republicans beyond his Freedom Caucus base.

Columbus-area GOP Rep. Steve Stivers declined to answer when asked about Jordan’s chances of becoming Speaker, and whether he’d back him.

“I don’t know,” Stivers said. “I don’t talk about those votes in the press.”

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