Rep. Jim Jordan should get ready to move on, according to fellow Republican Chris Christie.
Before Jordan lost his second straight attempt to win the House speaker’s gavel, Christie, who’s running for the GOP presidential nomination, told CNBC that the Ohio Republican should step aside from the race if he indeed lost.
“My own party looks childish,” Christie said on “Squawk on the Street,” regarding the disarray among House Republicans.
Christie predicted that Jordan would fail to convert enough of the 20 House Republicans who voted against him in the first ballot Tuesday. Jordan in that initial vote won just 200 of the 217 votes he needed to become speaker.
Twenty-two Republicans cast their votes against Jordan in the latest ballot.
“He’s got a history in the House and there’s a lot of relationships there, some good, some bad,” Christie said of Jordan shortly before the vote.
“I do think that after this second vote, if he doesn’t get it, I think it’s incumbent upon him to do what Steve Scalise did, which is say, ‘OK, it’s not me,’ step aside and let’s see who’s next,'” he said.
Christie ducked around the question of whether he thought Jordan should lead the Republican-majority House.
He instead said that the GOP’s priority should be to quickly elect a speaker so that Congress can deal with a slew of pressing issues.
“What I would say is, just get a speaker. You know, we have Israel aid, Ukraine aid, aid to Taiwan, border security and a budget all to get done. And none of that can get done without a speaker,” he said.
“So let’s just get somebody and let’s move on.”
But Christie said he did not support the idea of electing Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., as speaker pro tempore as a stopgap measure to enable the government to perform some essential functions.
“If he does one thing they don’t like, then he’s out and we’re back in this barrel again,” Christie said, referring to a cadre of far-right Republicans who led the push to oust the last speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Christie is a vocal opponent of former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, who has backed Jordan for speaker.
In his interview on CNBC, Christie ripped Trump and some of his other primary rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and right-wing entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, on foreign policy and other issues.
National polls show Christie far behind those candidates — especially Trump, who holds consistently large leads over the field.
Christie said he believed the race will shift in the 100 days leading up to first nominating contests approach, as voters in key primary states start to pay more attention.