Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA.) failure to attain the Speaker’s gavel is beginning to weigh on former President Donald Trump’s influence.
Trump’s clout took a hit in the last week following his pleas that dissenting House Republicans should support McCarthy were ignored by a conservative group typically pro-Trump.
The four days Republicans couldn’t rally behind McCarthy further proves that Trump’s once iron grip on the GOP has weakened significantly.
That waning influence calls into question Trump’s ability to run a successful Presidential campaign while giving potential rivals greater confidence that they could beat him in a GOP Presidential primary.
The first signs Trump’s influence was waning came on Wednesday (January 4), when Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) — a vocal Trump supporter — called on the former President to tell McCarthy to revoke his bid to become Speaker.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida piled on, describing Trump’s Support of McCarthy as “sad.”
Gaetz continued his defiance of Trump when, before the seventh vote, Gaetz voted for Trump to be Speaker.
Trump could consider Gaetz’s vote for him as flattery or insubordination, with the latter likely to stem from Trump’s repeated assertions that he did not want to be Speaker given his intention to be President.
But Gaetz doubled down, tweeting an illustration of Trump holding the Speaker’s gavel after his vote.
Brian Seitchik, an Arizona-based GOP strategist and an alum of Trump’s previous campaigns, shared his belief that the latest commotion regarding electing a Speaker pointed to Trump having “diminished influence.”
Seitchik contrasted what was happening to Republicans on the House floor to a “time when Trump would say ‘jump’ and everyone would say ‘how high?'”