A new ad targeting Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, calls on him to step aside in his quest for House speakership, warning that his ambitions, paired with the Ohio State University wrestling scandal, could welcome a Democratic wave in the November midterm elections.
The ad, paid for by the Swamp Accountability Project, raises questions about how Jordan’s bid for the position will be perceived in the wake of allegations that he knew an Ohio State wrestling team doctor abused athletes while Jordan was a coach there, especially amid his attacks on the Department of Justice. Jordan has denied knowing about any abuse.
“Jim Jordan’s running for speaker amid allegations that as a wrestling coach he turned a blind eye to sex abuse,” the ad says. “Jim Jordan’s been attacking the Department of Justice, which is investigating how athletes’ sex abuse claims were handled and could investigate the Ohio State scandal.”
The ad continues, “Tell Jim Jordan, now’s not the time to run for speaker or a job overseeing law enforcement. Don’t help Nancy Pelosi crush us with a blue wave.”
[Also read: Jim Jordan mocked as sexist puppet in Ohio campaign ads]
Republican strategist Liz Mair, who began the Swamp Accountability Project, told the Washington Examiner that the ad is not aimed at defeating Jordan in the November elections.
“This isn’t about the election,” she said, noting that the ad is only being aired in Urbana, Ohio, where Jordan lives, instead of district-wide. “We kind of have an audience of one here.”
During a recent trip to Ohio, Mair said she heard from “a lot” of people involved in conservative policy and Republican politics in the state who were against Jordan running for the leadership position if Republicans maintain control of the House.
“They feel like he has this massive blind spot and its going to create a problem in terms of advancing policy goals,” she said. “Jim Jordan should just step back from this for the time being.”
Mair said she does not “have a dog in this fight” when asked who she supports for speaker if Republicans retain control of the House.
Jordan’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli said it's "no surprise that the anti-Trump crowd opposes" Jordan.
"They know he will stand with the president and truly fight for the principles of freedom that make America great. They want another establishment Republican in charge who will get pushed around by Nancy Pelosi, and this TV ad is nothing more than a weak attempt to accomplish that goal," Cuccinelli said.