December 8, 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden offered up a curt response to a reporter’s question about his frequent critic, Republican Representative Jim Jordan‘s failed efforts to become the next House speaker.

Jordan, founding chair of the hard-right Freedom caucus and current chair of the Judiciary Committee, has been a staunch critic of the Biden administration, serving as one of the GOP’s impeachment inquiry leads. Jordan, a prominent ally of former President Donald Trump who was endorsed in his bid for the gavel by the MAGA leader, has been unable to garner enough House GOP support.

The Democratic president took questions from reporters during his flight home from Tel Aviv on Wednesday where he was asked to weigh in on Jordan’s bid for the speakership.

Biden on Jim Jordan Speaker Vote
President Joe Biden (left) speaks during the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, on October 14, 2023. Rep. Jim Jordan (right) at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 17. Biden laughed off a reporter’s question about the House speaker vote on Wednesday.

“Do you have a view of Jim Jordan’s current predicament being unable to secure the speakership,” a reporter asked Biden.

“I ache for him,” Biden replied, prompting laughter from the reporters on the flight, before adding, “No. Zero. None.”

A video of the president’s pithy response was shared by MSNBC on X, formerly Twitter.

Republicans are scrambling to pick the next House leader after conservative hardliners led a successful bid to vacate former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for a short-term government funding deal he brokered with Democrats to avoid a potential government shutdown. The upheaval in leadership has sent the House of Representatives into chaos as the U.S. faces pressure to support its allies at war, Israel and Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Jordan, an Ohio Republican, failed to garner enough support for a second time in his effort to become the next House speaker. Jordan mustered only 199 votes with 22 Republicans voting against him, two more than during his failed first vote on Tuesday. All 212 House Democrats were united in voting for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in both votes.

Newsweek reached out via email on Wednesday to representatives for Biden and Jordan for comment.

Jordan is the second Republican choice to replace McCarthy, who was removed from the role in an unprecedented motion to vacate filed by GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz earlier this month. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise withdrew his nomination last week after failing to garner enough support.

However, there is little evidence that Jordan can amass the support to secure the 217 votes that are required to become speaker. He was defeated for a second time on Wednesday, falling short by 18 votes.

With the House closely split among 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats, Jordan can only lose five Republican votes as not one Democrat expressed willingness to cross the aisle to support the MAGA ally.

Despite the two failed attempts, Jordan said that a third vote on his speakership bid had been scheduled to take place at noon on Thursday. The Ohio Republican still expressed confidence, telling CNN that he believes he can still win the gavel.

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