Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan is being pushed by a platoon of conservatives to challenge for the next House speaker opening even though he maintains that he has zero interest in the job.
They are hoping that Jordan will run against House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California when Speaker John Boehner finally calls it a day, The Hill reported
Jordan was recently named chairman of the new House Freedom Caucus, a group of nearly 40 conservatives who have set their sights on pulling the party's leadership and the establishment to the right.
The organization would be more than willing to help Jordan become the speaker, while his friends and allies believe he was the most effective chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) in recent history, according to The Hill.
But Jordan, a former wrestling champ at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and wrestling coach at Ohio State, is turning a deaf ear to the encouragement of supporters who say he's the right man for the top Republican post in the House of Representatives.
"I don't want the job," Jordan said in an interview with The Hill. "I don't want to be speaker. There are lots of other people in our conference who could do a better job. That's not what I'm focused on.
"I'm focused on trying to help our group and our entire conference do what's best for families across this country, and when you do that you're doing things that are good for the country."
Referring to Boehner, Jordan added: "He's got the toughest job in town. It's not easy, and I respect that. There have been times that we disagreed. There might be times in the future we disagree, but our group is committed to doing it in a constructive way."
Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, one of the founders along with Jordan of the Freedom Caucus, said there is a historical precedent for his colleague taking on a top political post he really does not want.
"Some of the best leaders the world has ever seen had to be convinced to become a leader. Case in point: George Washington. He didn't want to become president of the United States; he wanted to go back to his farm," said Salmon.
"Sometimes people are put in situations because their country needs them. And at some point in time, that will probably be the case with Jim Jordan."
Jordan never actually even asked to be the head of the Freedom Caucus, which meets weekly over pizza in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, according to The Hill, noting that the other members just drafted him.
"He didn't ask for it or anything. I think we looked to him, his experience being a chairman," said Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, another Freedom Caucus co-founder. "He took a lot of heat [at RSC], but he came through that. He handled it very gracefully, and at the end of the day, I think, managed it quite well."
McCarthy, the former whip, is seen as the "speaker-in-waiting" by some GOP House members because of his huge fundraising operation, as well as his vast experience on the workings of the Republican conference, The Hill reported.
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