Right-wing Rep. Jim Jordan announced today that he will run for Speaker of the House during the next Congressional session. Right-wing groups and leaders began immediately announcing their support for Jordan, including the anti-tax Club for Growth and the Religious Right American Family Association. Fox News has announced that Jordan will appear on Sean Hannity’s show tonight.
FreedomWorks, a small-government group associated with the Koch brothers’ political networks, announced that it “plans to spend at least half-a-million dollars” to campaign on Jordan’s behalf. We reported in April that FreedomWorks had launched a petition campaign urging Jordan to run and that we wasn’t trying to discourage them. The draft-Jordan campaign picked up steam in May when the Tea Party Patriots released an open letter from more than 100 right-wing activists urging him to run and declaring that “a vote to promote any member of today’s House GOP leadership is a vote for the Swamp.” We noted then:
The letter’s signers are a Who’s Who of leaders from the Religious Right, legal and corporate right, and Tea Party. It includes anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim activists as well as anti-tax and limited-government leaders. Among the signers are longtime conservative activists Ed Meese, Richard Viguerie and Brent Bozell; the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon and Sandy Rios and Eagle Forum’s Eunie Smith; anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch; Tim Macy of Gun Owners of America; and Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Just yesterday, FreedomWorks announced that 99.2 percent of its members support Jordan for Speaker. Today, the group’s President Adam Brandon declared, “We look forward to welcoming more than 1,000 members of our grassroots activist community to FreedomWorks’ September Day of Action on the Capitol’s West Lawn in support of Rep. Jordan.”
Jordan was the founding chair of the Freedom Caucus, which functions as the right wing of the right-wing Republican caucus. Not coincidentally, yesterday Jordan and his Freedom Caucus colleague Mark Meadows called for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Jordan has been pushing the right-wing conspiracy theory that the “deep state” subverted justice to protect Hillary Clinton and take down Donald Trump. A few years ago, Jordan helped promote another right-wing conspiracy theory—namely that the government was buying up bullets to keep them away from gun owners.
Jordan’s candidacy could be hampered by allegations from a number of Ohio State University wrestlers that when he was an assistant coach Jordan ignored the alleged sexual abuse of numerous athletes by the team’s doctor; Jordan has denied the allegations.