Fox News Speaker ‘Debate’ Off After Republicans Decry ‘Horrible Idea’

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan have decided to call off the televised Fox News event featuring GOP candidates vying for the House Speaker’s gavel, CNN reported on Friday.

Punchbowl News first reported on Friday that Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier would moderate a closed debate and conversation between the leading Republican candidates for House speaker.

In a press release, however, the network insisted that Baier will instead “present an exclusive joint interview” that will air on his program Special Report from the Capitol on Monday night. A Fox News spokesperson further stressed to The Daily Beast that the sit-down was not a debate.

The participants were originally supposed to be Scalise, Jordan, and Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern. While Jordan and Scalise have announced their candidacy, Hern hasn’t officially tossed his hat in the ring to replace Kevin McCarthy.

CNN reporter Melanie Zanona, though, reported that several House GOP members were incensed over the decision to make the speaker’s race into a made-for-Fox televised debate, noting that “several of them have already communicated those frustrations to the speaker candidates.”

According to Zanona, one lawmaker called it “insanity” while claiming “people are pissed,” while another complained that it would turn the process of replacing McCarthy into a “circus.” Others predicted that due to the anger from other members, it was likely that the Fox forum would get canceled.

With House Republicans expressing second thoughts about voting for the candidates participating in this “horrible idea,” Jordan then suggested that they may just scrap the televised debate.

“Rep. Jim Jordan now wants to meet w/ conference before Fox debate, so either debate gets pushed OR forum gets moved up,” Zanona tweeted. “‘Mr. Jordan is always happy to share his plan for the country, but he believes it is crucial to meet with the GOP conference before the event,’ a spox tells me.”

Eventually, Scalise decided to bow out, followed by the majority leader agreeing with Jordan that “it wouldn’t be wise” to go forward with it.

The now-canceled Fox sit-down had come on the heels of Fox News star Sean Hannity and Donald Trump endorsing Jordan for the speakership.

The GOP caucus is currently scheduled to hold a candidates forum on Tuesday—which Trump may possibly attend—before moving to a closed-door vote Wednesday. It is undetermined when the fight for the speakership will hit the House floor.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the “joint interview” was still scheduled for Monday.

The post Fox News Speaker ‘Debate’ Off After Republicans Decry ‘Horrible Idea’ appeared first on The Daily Beast.

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