WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ending months of speculation, pro-life and pro-marriage Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio has announced he intends to run for Speaker of the House, promising a more aggressive and more conservative style of leadership.
“Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives,” Jordan said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people. Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It’s time to do what we said.”
Heritage Action and Conservative Review rank Jordan as one of Capitol Hill’s most conservative lawmakers, and a Jordan speakership has been something of a long-shot dream among conservative commentators and activists ever since Paul Ryan of Wisconsin announced in April he would be retiring from Congress.
Though an eloquent policy wonk with a strong pro-life voting record, Ryan frequently disappointed pro-life and conservative activists for accepting multiple budgets that continued Planned Parenthood’s funding, failing to enact several pieces of pro-life legislation, and failing to repeal Obamacare.
By contrast, the pro-life Jordan has frequently challenged his fellow Republicans’ failure to deliver on campaign promises. During the Obama years he advocated withholding Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding from appropriations bills, daring Democrats to explain to voters any potential government shutdown that ensued. Earlier this year, he condemned the GOP-backed, $1.3 trillion omnibus bill as not “ anywhere close to consistent, to what we said we would do when they elected us in 2016.”
Jordan has also applauded President Donald Trump’s efforts to deliver conservative results, while showing a willingness to push and oppose the president when warranted. Last year he signed onto a letter urging Trump to keep his campaign promise to defend religious liberty, and told LifeSiteNews that the initial version of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal legislation didn’t measure up to the party’s longtime promises.
“[W]e should have gotten rid of Planned Parenthood dollars and defunded them nearly three years ago when the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos first came out. Unfortunately, our leaders at the time didn't want to push,” he revealed in that interview. “We didn't show the (CMP) videos, because our leadership didn't want to. Those videos were the most compelling evidence we had.”
When asked in that same interview about his credentials as a defender of the family, Jordan said that he supports male/female marriage and parental rights.
“I oppose the redefinition of marriage, and I support the right of parents to supervise what their children learn and how they are educated,” he said.
Jordan’s decision to run for speaker is also a sign he has no intention of being derailed by allegations that he ignored sexual abuse reports during his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Jordan has denied ever hearing about the abuse claims and suggested the timing of the scandal was politically “choreographed.” Fifteen former Ohio State wrestlers, as well as Former OSU head coach Russ Hellickson, have come forward to defend him.
Even before the allegations, however, the prevailing conventional wisdom has held that Jordan faces an uphill battle, and the more establishment friendly Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise have far better chances of succeeding Ryan. But some conservatives say that beating the odds is essential.
Calling Jordan’s candidacy the “last chance to save Congress,” Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz argues that if “we can secure an anchor in the House, we can move the president to the right on many issues and embolden him on issues where he is already with conservatives, while isolating the insufferable leftists, both Democrat and Republican, who populate the Senate.”
As for President Trump, Horowitz concluded, “[n]ow is his moment to show that he truly is not a politician and is willing to shake things up.” Trump has defended Jordan on the coaching scandal, but not said who he will support for House Speaker.