Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) criticized Rep. Jim Jordan’s nonexistent legislative record on Tuesday, saying the Ohio lawmaker is more focused on making “noise” than on actual policy.
“There are people in my party who go to Washington to bark, to make noise — not to make law, but to make noise,” Romney told CBS News Tuesday. “I think Jim Jordan would call himself one of those, who’s got a lot to say and is loud and barking, but actually passing law, getting law that’s signed, not just by members of the House, but also in the Senate and by the president. That’s a different matter, and we’ll see whether he rises to the occasion if he becomes speaker.”
Jordan has been in Congress for 16 years and is yet to author a single bill that has become law. Instead, he focuses on launching investigations into Democratic administrations between appearances on Fox News.
Romney’s comments come as House Republicans are struggling to find a new speaker after a small group of hardliners led my Florida congressman Matt Gaetz led a successful effort to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the position two weeks ago.
House Republicans selected Jordan as their nominee after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) dropped out of the race because he was unable to secure the 217 votes needed to win the speaker’s gavel. But, Jordan appears to be in a similar position as he only received 200 votes on the House floor Tuesday, 17 votes short of winning the speakership in the first round of voting. 20 House Republicans oppose his nomination.
Romney told CBS that by nominating Jordan for Speaker, House Republicans are “letting the tail wag the dog.”
“The great majority of the Republicans in the House, I think, would like to have someone that represents the mainstream of our party,” he said. “Jim Jordan represents a small part of the party, but a very vocal part of the party. And they’ve been calling the shots.”
“He’s probably not the first choice I would’ve made, but it’s not my choice, it’s up to them. Whether he’ll get the job or not, I don’t know,” Romney added. “But if he does get the job, it’ll be a case of the dog catching the car, which is, what happens then?”
Romney announced in September that he won’t be seeking re-election to the Senate next year, choosing to retire after just one term.
“I have spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another. At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-eighties,” he said in a video at the time. “Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”