Hours Before Jim Jordan Lost Speaker Vote Again, GOP Rep’s Wife Received Anonymous, Threatening Texts

It's like an episode of Pretty Little Liars, except everyone's older and uglier.

Hours Before Jim Jordan Lost Speaker Vote Again, GOP Rep’s Wife Received Anonymous, Threatening Texts
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There are only 24 hours in a day, but Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is certainly making the most of his: The embattled nominee for House Speaker has managed to lose the vote not once but twice and become embroiled in a cyberbullying scandal, all in a day’s miserable work.

Since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted as Speaker last week and House Republicans have since descended to new levels of clownery to determine a replacement, flitting back and forth between Rep. Steve “David Duke Without the Baggage” Scalise (R-La.), Jordan, and random nobodies in the caucus, before eventually landing on Jordan at the end of last week. But while Jordan won a majority of votes within the caucus, handfuls of House Republicans still oppose his nomination, severely hampering his odds. He lost one vote for Speaker on Tuesday and another on Wednesday.

One Republican holdout is Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who previously explained he opposes Jordan on principle as he doesn’t believe McCarthy should have been removed at all. He voted for McCarthy on Tuesday and on Wednesday. And on Tuesday evening, he said his wife had received threatening, anonymous texts over his vote against Jordan. Images of the texts were shared with and verified by Politico. “Talk to your husband tell him to step up and be a leader and help the Republican Party get a speaker,” one message reads. “There’s too much going on in the world for all this going on in Republican Party you guys take five steps forward and then turn around take 20 steps backwards no wonder our party always ends up getting screwed over.” Another: “Your husband will not hold any political office ever again. What a disappoint [sic] and failure he is.”

I can’t help but laugh. We are talking about sixty-something-year-old dudes, literal grandparents, appearing to descend to the catty tactics of tween drama Pretty Little Liars and its omnipresent antagonist “A,” who terrorized the Liars with bitchy, anonymous, threatening texts. Jordan’s office disavowed the anonymous texts in a curt statement shared with Jezebel: “These threats are wrong and should stop,” a spokesperson for the Congressman said.

Bacon’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. Speaking to NBC, he insisted that “Jordan is headed for defeat,” and he and fellow House Republicans who oppose Jordan “won’t let off.” He explained, “Their tactics angered us. They’re harassing our spouses even. Jordan hit a brick wall.”

Bacon told Politico he’s received similar anonymous messages, too, as he says Jordan and his allies are ramping up pressure on him. “Jim’s been nice, one-on-one, but his broader team has been playing hardball,” Bacon said.

The anonymous texts sent to Bacon come as Jordan’s influential far-right supporters are galvanizing their followers to mount a pressure campaign against Republican holdouts. Insider notes that Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity have both called on their massive audiences to contact House Republicans who oppose Jordan’s Speakership, and the Washington Post reports Hannity has been personally lobbying members for Jordan. It’s not clear the extent to which Jordan is personally involved in these tactics.

Some Republicans—including Jordan’s supporters—have expressed concern that the pressure campaign that Jordan’s surrogates are leading is counterproductive. “I think some of it did backfire … and I think it was to the detriment of Jim,” Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), who’s a Freedom Caucus member and voted for Jordan, told reporters on Tuesday. And a House Republican who spoke to Politico anonymously said that Jordan is “pissing off” the caucus members who have supported him with his frantic calls asking for their continued support.

One House Republican who’s opposed Jordan is doubling down on his opposition as a result of the aggressive tactics of Jordan and his ride-or-dies. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), who voted against Jordan, told reporters he won’t be switching his position ”especially now, in the light of these pressure tactics.” Gimenez explained, “[Jordan] supposedly said ‘stand down’ and they haven’t stood down. Leaders are followed.”

Despite losing a second vote, Jordan shows no signs of backing down. Shortly after Tuesday night’s loss, he vowed, “We’re going to keep working, and we’re going to get the votes.” Well, we’ll see about that. The House is now going into recess no closer to confirming a new Speaker; Jordan has vowed to continue trying to drum up support and will force a third vote when the House returns. But things are looking bleak for his odds, and I can’t think of a person more deserving of this public humiliation.

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