Rep. Jim Jordan has never shied away from a fight. The Republican Congressman, representing Ohio’s Fourth District in the U.S. House of Representatives, assumed office in 2007 and has been a staunch defender of conservative positions, and a fiercely loyal ally of former President Donald Trump.
Serving as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jordan is known to be one of the most reliable Republican votes. His fight against the investigation into the debunked Russian interference in the 2016 election and his support of lawsuits to invalidate the 2020 election results helped make him into a national figure.
In January 2021, then-President Trump awarded Jordan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The White House statement declared Jordan to be “an inspiration to freedom-loving Americans everywhere” and it said that he “has distinguished himself as one of the most consequential members of Congress of his generation.”
Jordan’s bold and forthright style invoke his background as a former collegiate wrestler and college wrestling coach. Before his election to the U.S. House, Jordan served in the Ohio State Senate from 2001 to 2007 and the Ohio House of Representatives from 1995 to 2000. He and his wife Polly have four children.
In this exclusive interview, Jordan’s comments and commentary on the issues America is confronting demonstrate why he is a congressman Americans should keep their eye on.
You are known to be an outspoken and passionate conservative. What in your background helped shape your political views?
We come from a Christian Evangelical background, which probably drives it. Another part is my parents. My dad was a union worker for General Motors and voted Democrat until Ronald Reagan came along. Then, like so many other Americans, he said, “Enough of this, I am going to vote Republican.” And he’s been a conservative Republican ever since.
Also, my background is in the sport of wrestling, and I jokingly say that, in wrestling, if you throw them down more than they throw you down, you win. It doesn’t get more basic than that. Then, of course, I always tell folks that when you get married and have kids, you start looking at the world differently. I think that certainly influenced Polly and me when we were first married and started to have kids. You see what the government does with your money, all the things they waste your money on, and all the things they tell you to do. That kind of pushes us in a conservative direction as well.
With current increased government spending and involvement, do you see more people moving in that same direction?
Yes, you can feel it. I’ve been out and about in our congressional district in Ohio and around the state and country. People are fed up with the left and all the crazy things going on. You can pick the policy area, but they see that in literally 19 months, with the Democrats controlling all of government and the Biden administration in the White House, we went from a secure border to complete chaos; energy independence to the President begging OPEC, Iran, and Venezuela to increase production; and from $2 to almost $5 per gallon for gas. We went from stable prices to record inflation, and from relatively safe streets to record levels of crime in just about every urban area in the country. And I haven’t even gone into foreign policy or the attacks on our First Amendment liberties. People have had it.
I also think there is a real shift in the parties. Today the Democratic Party has largely become the party of the folks who live on the coast, the “elites” in D.C. and San Francisco who think they’re smarter than everyone else, and the people who don’t work. And the Republicans are the party of everyone else — the working class and middle-class people. I’ve always felt that the Republican Party should be a populist party rooted in conservative principle. And that is exactly what’s happened under the leadership of [former] President Trump.
Recent primaries in some key states seem to indicate a bit of a mixed bag for Trump-endorsed candidates. Do you think Trump’s political influence is as strong as before and how do you see it influencing the upcoming midterm elections?
I think [former] President’s Trump’s endorsement is the most powerful endorsement in American political history. It’s an endorsement that everyone wants in the Republican primary and it makes a huge difference. You see that time and time again. And his record is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Only a few races where he endorsed did he not win. Almost every single time his candidates wind up prevailing. We saw that in Ohio with the endorsement of J.D. Vance, literally in the last two weeks of the campaign, and it made all the difference.
You mentioned a shift among voters because of recent hardships, including soaring inflation and gas prices, yet we don’t see massive protests like Democrats hold on issues of concern to them, like Roe v. Wade and law enforcement. Do you think there is really a silent majority? Where’s the outrage?
The “wrong track” poll numbers are higher and more dramatic than I’ve ever seen in politics. Right now, it’s about 74% of the country. Every seven in 10 Americans think we’re headed in the wrong direction. And the reason they think that is because we are. I’d like to meet the 26% who think it’s on the right track. Who are these people?
I think one of the reasons you don’t see demonstrations is because people are too busy working to make the money they need to pay for the 41-year-high inflation on the price of goods and services. The left always seems to be able to go out and do these demonstrations. The conservatives are too busy taking care of their family, working in their community, and working to pay for the crazy tax that [President] Biden has given us, which is the worst tax of all — called inflation. But people get it. I travel a lot and as I talk to people, you can feel it out there. I do feel that things are politically moving in a direction that is going to be a big win for the Republicans. But we don’t want to get overconfident — although we do need to campaign confidently.
Let’s talk about January 6. You were issued a subpoena by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. And you recently requested information about yourself that the committee has collected. Can you clarify your position?
We put out a letter [detailing our concerns]. This is our second letter; we did a letter back on January 9, when they first asked us to come and meet with the committee. I think the biggest concern is that this committee has lied about information regarding me. They flat-out lied about it and presented it to the public in a false way. They actually had to issue a statement saying they regret the error, which is government-speak for “We got caught lying.” Not to mention all the other constitutional concerns and the concern with the fact that this committee was not formed under the actual resolution that was passed by the House and the rules that were laid out in that resolution. It’s not abiding by those rules. For the first time in American history the minority leader, Leader [Kevin] McCarthy, was not allowed to place on a Select Committee the individuals that he had selected and nominated for that committee. These are all concerns, including the leaks, in the partisan way this thing has been done.
With current crises of inflation, immigration, and crime, it’s easy to see why the Democrats hang on to this issue, but do you think the public is still interested?
I think the people who did wrong on January 6 need to be held accountable. I’ve said that from the get-go. And Republicans have been consistent. We condemn violence and wrong behavior every time it’s happened. We condemned it in the summer of 2020 and when it took place on January 6. It’s the left that’s been inconsistent, because they called rioters and looters “protesters” in the summer of 2020.
I think the American people understand that fact, but I do think that they are primarily concerned about inflation and a border that is no longer there. What is happening on the border is actually being done intentionally by Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas and the Biden administration. They’re concerned about the fact that [President] Biden has driven up the price of gasoline and everything else because you have to move goods around the country. I think the country is rightly concerned about the attacks on our First Amendment and some of the crazy things they’ve seen the Biden administration try to put in place, like the Disinformation Governance Board. This is something that I’ve spent a lot of time on, because the Judiciary Committee is supposed to look out for your liberty. I think all those things are on the American people’s minds.
Regarding immigration, a Louisiana federal judge recently kept Title 42 in place, but the surge continues. Do you think it’s possible to reverse the damage and how would you go about it?
You need to put back in place the policies that were there under [former] President Trump. You need to finish the wall, go back to the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and quit doing catch and release. And the people who went through adjudication and were told by a judge that they are not entitled to be here under our asylum law need to be sent back to their home country. It doesn’t take a genius to get this done.
But what they have done is they intentionally got rid of those policies that actually allow us to secure our border. On day one, [President] Biden announced a moratorium on any deportations. He announced he wasn’t going to finish the wall and was getting rid of “Remain in Mexico.” You can’t fault people for wanting to come to the greatest country ever. But now people know they won’t have to get over a wall, won’t have to wait in Mexico, will get released to wherever they want to go, will be given a cellphone, and won’t have to show up because they are given a notice to report and not a notice to appear in court. When you send that message, it’s no wonder we’ve set record after record for the number of illegal migrants crossing into the country.
When talking of President Biden, Elon Musk remarked, “The real President is whoever controls the teleprompter.” Who do you think that is?
It’s funny you ask, because it’s now the number-one question I get. I don’t know. Obviously, the Chief of Staff has a lot of influence on day-to-day operations. When it comes to foreign policy, the team that’s there is the same team that was around in the Obama years — Tony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Wendy Sherman, Bill Burns. They’re the same people who were in charge when we had the tragedy in Benghazi. So, I’m not sure, but I think many Americans view the premise of your question as something they see for themselves and that’s why they’re asking the question.
You were on a list of over 900 people blacklisted by the Russian government and banned from traveling to Russia. How do you feel about that, and can you give me your take on the current situation?
It’s probably a badge of honor. There are many people on the list, many members of Congress. I think if you step back, the big concern is that when weakness is projected from the Oval Office, that is not a good sign for stability around the world. A few months ago, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked whether this would have happened when Donald Trump was President. He answered, “The short answer is I don’t know. But I do know this — it didn’t happen when Trump was in the White House.”
I think that says it all. This terrible action that Putin and Russia have taken against Ukraine didn’t happen when President Trump was in office. We all know that if he had been in office, we would not have seen the debacle that was the exit from Afghanistan. I think the American people understand that fact and folks around the world appreciate that — the great leadership we had under Trump versus what I would describe as weak leadership under President Biden.
Do you think that applies also to the JCPOA negotiations and how do you think they affect the region?
Of course. [Then-] President Trump said he would get out of the Iran deal, and he did. Think about the leadership he showed and the things he accomplished that were good for Israel and good for the Middle East — the Abraham Accords, the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem. For as long as I can remember, every single presidential candidate in both parties would campaign and say, “If I’m elected, I will put the embassy in Jerusalem.” And then, regardless of whether he was a Republican or Democrat, he would come up with a million reasons and excuses not to.
Polly and I have been to Israel five times. Our last visit was right before COVID and the lockdowns in February of 2020, and I remember going to Trump Heights up in the Golan area. Because [then-President] Trump made that bold move on the Iran deal and the Jerusalem embassy, that paved the way for the Abraham Accords and so many accomplishments. Now, unfortunately, [President] Biden is going in the wrong direction.
Do you think Israel and other countries in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, might be justified in looking at America now as an unreliable ally?
I think Israel can always count on the U.S. as a friend, even with a White House that’s not pursuing the right policies. I think Israel can always count on the number of people in our government, particularly Republicans in the House and Senate, who are 100% committed to being a friend and ally of Israel.
Do you see any erosion of bipartisan support for Israel in Congress, particularly with some progressive members being openly anti-Israel?
I think you can always count on Republican support. I think that there is still a lot of support in the other party, but I think today’s left has a hold on the Democratic Party. They don’t like the U.S. and the values and principles that make America the greatest country, and I think there is a significant number of people in their party who are opposed to the strong and historical alliance that the U.S. always had with Israel.
Support for the State of Israel is strong amongst conservatives and Republicans. They understand how special that friendship and relationship is, and I still think there are a number of Democrats who do. But unfortunately, the hard left is in control of the party now.
Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. are at the highest levels they have ever been. Do you see an uptick in Ohio, and how would you address it?
Antisemitism is just as wrong as wrong can be. And we should condemn it every time we see it. I don’t see that uptick in our state, but it’s terrible when it happens.
On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at promoting police accountability, despite anti-police and pro-criminal policies resulting in record levels of crime, particularly in Democrat-run cities. What kind of pushback do you expect?
You have to change the policies. I think people have had enough. You see this with district attorneys and prosecutors around the country, with recall efforts like George Gascon out in L.A. When you defund the police, get rid of the bail and have prosecutors who won’t prosecute violent offenders, you’re going to get more crime.
I think citizens are going to say, “Enough.” We saw this first start to happen with a slightly different issue in Virginia, when government said we’re smarter than parents when it comes to raising kids. And they elected Glenn Youngkin — a Republican Governor in a blue state. I think the same dynamic is going to happen in these cities with soaring crime. I think you’re going to see pushback.
You are up for reelection. What do you hope to accomplish in another term?
If we win and the American people put us in the majority, which I think there’s a good chance that happens, then we need to keep [President] Biden in check. We won’t be able to pass many things, probably not anything, because Biden isn’t going to sign anything as President. But hopefully, we’ll be able to stop the damage and begin to frame up things for the 2024 race, when I think [former] President Trump is going to run again.
In addition, we need to have investigations so that people get the facts. It’s one of our constitutional duties to have oversight so the American people know the truth about the targeting of parents on the school board issue, where this virus started, and regarding the false information Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and Dr. [Francis] Collins gave us over the last couple of years. We need to look into the immigration issue, the border security, and the Ways and Means Committee needs to examine how thousands of Americans’ tax returns were made public. That’s not supposed to happen in America.
So you feel confident that former President Trump is going to run in 2024?
I do. I think he’s going to. We never had a better President, and frankly the State of Israel has never had a better friend than [former] President Trump. I hope he runs. I think he’s going to, and I think he’s going to win.