House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, made his pitch for the speaker’s gavel to the pragmatic Main Street Caucus on Thursday afternoon.
That group is a critical one for Jordan to please in order to win the top spot. The business-minded caucus boasts a significant number of moderates, in addition to its conservative members.
Those moderates, particularly from districts won by President Biden in 2020, may be wary of supporting a lawmaker who previously led the hardline-right House Freedom Caucus.
‘I think there’s still some hesitation from New Yorkers… particularly those who are in Biden districts, because Jim Jordan has just been so pro-Trump,’ one source familiar with the meeting told Fox News Digital afterward. ‘You’ve got the moderates that are in Biden districts that may not feel comfortable.’
However, two Main Street Caucus members, both from majority-Republican districts, told Fox News Digital after the meeting that Jordan made a strong case for himself.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., who had been voicing concerns about the one-member threshold motion to vacate, said Jordan broached his and others’ issues on the matter effectively.
The one-member motion to vacate rule allowed Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to call for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster on Monday. Gaetz and seven other Republicans joined House Democrats in booting McCarthy, R-Calif., from leadership on Tuesday — leaving a power vacuum in his wake.
‘He understands that we need to change the rule. I think he wants to change it in the right way. And he may be the one person that can change that rule,’ Gimenez told Fox News Digital. ‘I trust Jim Jordan… I have no problem considering him for speaker.’
Gimenez said Main Street Caucus Republicans ‘made clear to him’ in the meeting that changing the motion to vacate rule ‘was our number one priority.’
‘He’s a Freedom Caucus member. And, and so you know, I had some caution there, but I’ve gotten to know Jim Jordan,’ he said. ‘I think he’s smart. I also think one thing about Jim Jordan — I think he’s a very honorable person. A man of his word.’
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital she also was impressed by Jordan and suggested he could serve as a bridge between moderates and conservatives.
‘Jim Jordan made a good presentation. Probably one of his strengths is that… he’s probably most likely to be able to bring everyone together because of his relationships with both the Freedom Caucus and moderates, and the conservatives in between,’ she said.
Malliotakis said among the topics discussed were avoiding a possible government shutdown and how to navigate working with Democrats in both the House and Senate, as well as changing the motion to vacate rule.
Neither Malliotakis nor Gimenez has decided on whom to support.
In addition to Jordan, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., has also thrown his hat in the ring. Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern, R-Okla., is also considering a run for speaker.
Malliotakis said both Jordan and Scalise were ‘gifted communicators,’ speculating that they will likely end up being the two frontrunners for the job.
Scalise is due to speak with the Main Street Caucus on Friday morning, Fox News Digital has learned. He’s also speaking with the Western Caucus and the House GOP freshman class.