Rep. Paul Ryan’s announcement that he will not run for re-election this year has started some jockeying among his colleagues over who will replace him as speaker of the House. FreedomWorks, a small-government group that is associated with the Koch brothers’ political networks, launched a petition campaign last week encouraging right-wing Rep. Jim Jordan to run for the position. FreedomWorks is continuing to push the petition online this week.
Jordan is not trying to tamp down the speculation, appearing on CNN and Fox News on Monday, where he made some of the same arguments he made on Tuesday’s Judicial Watch panel on the “deep state’s” supposed conspiracy to subvert justice in order to protect Hillary Clinton and take down Donald Trump.
Jordan was the founding chair of the Freedom Caucus, a group of members at the far right of the Republican caucus who came together in 2015 and helped topple former House Speaker John Boehner. Mick Mulvaney, who is now actively dismantling consumer protections at as a member of the Trump administration, was a founding member. Current Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Mark Meadows is associated with both the Tea Party’s anti-government ideology and the Religious Right’s social-issue agenda.
Jordan and his friends created the Freedom Caucus because they believed the Republican leadership was not sufficiently committed to promoting right-wing policies. That mindset is reflected in the FreedomWorks petition on Jordan’s behalf. You’d think that Mitch McConnell’s success at filling the federal courts with Trump’s right-wing nominees would make him a hero to movement conservatives. But FreedomWorks dismisses him as a RINO (Republican in Name Only):
Mitch McConnell and the other establishment RINOs are hoping Rep. Jim Jordan doesn’t run for Speaker of the House.
They know he’ll force them to help President Trump repeal ObamaCare, drain the DC swamp, and cut your taxes.
FreedomWorks was created in 2004 when Citizens for a Sound Economy, a Koch brothers group, split into FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. The group’s mindset is reflected in the way it classifies courts as either “pro-freedom” or “pro-government.” FreedomWorks is also running a campaign to support embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.