For the past few months, some analysts have speculated that if Republicans win control of the House in 2022, they could elect former President Donald Trump as House speaker — something that would be perfectly allowed by the Constitution, which doesn't require the speaker to actually be an elected member of the House of Representatives. This would bring Trump back into political power two years earlier than running for president, as well as put him in the line of presidential succession.
But on Monday, NPR suggested that the mere rumors of this idea could be a drag on Republicans in House races next year.
This Trump rumor could become a 'nightmare' for the GOP in 2022 youtu.be
"Democrats would want to force every Republican House candidate to answer the question: If Trump wants the job, would they vote for him?" reported Mara Liasson. "Saying no would anger their MAGA base, but saying yes would risk turning off swing voters who are exhausted with the former president. They'd be stuck, which is appealing to Democrats."
"I think it's totally fair game," Democratic strategist Doug Thornell told GPB. "Look, like Republicans do this to Democrats all the time. To our front-liners, they say, 'Well, would you vote for Nancy Pelosi?' For Republican members, yeah, they should absolutely be on the record on ... would they vote for Trump as speaker."
Republicans have a clear path to winning the House in 2022, as they only need to flip five seats to gain a majority, and midterm years historically almost always result in gains for the party out of power.
Trump, for his part, has said through spokesperson Liz Harrington that he does not have an interest in becoming speaker. He has preferred to stoke speculation he will simply run for president again in 2024, although his aides have reportedly talked him out of immediately declaring a run. At least some Republican elected officials, like Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), are against him running again, and Trump himself has admitted he might be precluded from doing so by his health.
"For Republicans, according to one lobbyist, the thought of Trump as speaker is either a joke or a nightmare or a dream come true," NPR reported.