Rep. Carlos Gimenez, who once pronounced himself OK – Only Kevin – is not so “only” anymore. The Florida Republican is now OK with fellow Floridian Rep. Byron Donalds, who he says Donalds “has a good shot” at claiming the gavel.
“He’s getting more and more support, so I look forward to the entire process of it. It’s gonna be very interesting,” he said, saying Donalds “will at least make it to the finals. The Final Four, right?”
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who had to abandon his own quest to lead his conference, had praise – but not an endorsement – for a member of his own leadership team, Rep. Tom Emmer.
“He’s got a strong record. You saw last, we’ve got a lot of candidates that represent a good range of our conference that was laid out for what they want to do. I think everybody’s talking about the same thing, unified our conference, getting us back on track, and a lot of work to do,” he said.
Texas Rep. Chip Roy said that the process will only make the eventual nominee stronger, and wouldn’t pick a specific one, saying “each one has their merits. Each one has questions and we’ll go through that today.”
Roy said the importance of having consensus in the room is the driving force.
“I certainly made that effort a week or two ago and I certainly think we might have benefited from doing that but we’ll see. We’ll see what happens here. I mean, I think there seem to be some general agreement among candidates that they would prefer if not fully getting 218 but getting to a place a where they feel really comfortable about what they’re able to do,” he said.
And Texas Rep. Pete Sessions says that “it’s up to the people in the room, not me” if he stays in the race to the end, but touted the skills of the man putting his name into nomination, Rep. Morgan Griffith, saying that Griffith will bring a message that “if we work together to do as we did in 2010” he will pick up votes.
“It’s a magic equation that Morgan understands,” Sessions said. “And so that’s what he’s going to say in today.”
And Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon said he could tell reporters a lot more about who will win “after the vote” but warned that subterfuge would be unwelcome.
“Unless someone sabotages the winner like they did two weeks ago with Steve Scalise, that was not right,” he said. “We don’t want any more of what’s gone on the past two weeks.”
“There’s been talk of having consequences if you don’t support the team. I think that’s legit,” he said.