Fox News, which has been losing viewership since the firing of Tucker Carlson, attempted to capitalize on the new race for Speaker of the House by scheduling a candidate forum — but was forced to cancel the event after an uproar among Republicans.
The supposed debate/forum hosted by Fox News with the GOP House Speaker candidates has fallen apart. pic.twitter.com/wkujSnhch1
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 6, 2023
The segment was supposed to feature the candidates for House Speaker — House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). They also tried to include Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), who has not even announced his candidacy for the position yet.
Jordan — who was endorsed for the position by several prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump — responded to the planned forum in a statement via a spokesperson.
“Mr. Jordan is always happy to share his plan for the country, but he believes it is crucial to meet with the GOP conference before the event,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement shared with CNN.
Hern also responded to the event in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I still haven’t made a decision on my candidacy for speaker, but I know one thing for sure: I will not be participating in the televised debate. We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV. The Republican conference needs a family discussion,” the post read.
I still haven’t made a decision on my candidacy for speaker, but I know one thing for sure.
I will not be participating in the televised debate.
We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV. The Republican conference needs a family discussion.
— Congressman Kevin Hern (@repkevinhern) October 6, 2023
Many Republicans have deemed the event “insanity” — arguing that the event would turn the speaker race into a “circus.”
During an appearance on CNN, Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) called the debate a “horrible idea.”
“If both of them thought this was a good idea, then maybe they don’t have a pulse of the conference. I’m having serious problems,” he said.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed from the speakership last week in an unprecedented move after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced a motion to vacate. The entire House Democrat caucus voted alongside eight Republicans to oust McCarthy. Jordan is currently the frontrunner for the speaker’s race, especially considering his endorsement from Trump.
Meanwhile, a new poll showed that Republican voters want the next House Speaker to be loyal to Trump. The survey by YouGov for CBS News revealed that 59% of Republicans wanted the House to elect a speaker loyal to Trump — with 84% of “MAGA Republicans” agreeing with the sentiment.