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House Speaker Johnson to GOP Infighting: 'Knock It Off'

By    |   Sunday, 17 March 2024 10:38 AM EDT

The Republican Party's infighting continues to frustrate House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who is calling on his GOP colleagues to "knock it off" and focus on the 2024 general election amid a narrow majority in the House that has dwindled down to just two.

"I've asked them all to cool it," Johnson told CNN last week at the House GOP retreat in West Virginia. "I am vehemently opposed to member-on-member action in primaries because it's not productive. And it causes division for obvious reasons, and we should not be engaging in that.

"So I'm telling everyone who's doing that to knock it off. And both sides, they'll say, Well, we didn't start it, they started it."

Among the key antagonists is Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is rejecting weaker Republicans as being merely Democrats dressed up "in drag."

"I would love nothing more than to just go after Democrats, but if Republicans are going to dress up like Democrats in drag, I'm going to go after them too — because at the end of the day, we're not judged by how many Republicans we have in Congress," Gaetz told CNN. "We're judged on whether or not we save the country."

The resignation of Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., an outspoken critics of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, put the House majority at just two, the narrowest of margins.

"It is depressing when you have your own team turning on each other, because you don't win when that happens," Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told CNN — although he has been critical of Trump on Jan. 6. "Teams win. We've undermined the norms of what we've had going back, really, a couple centuries, frankly. And now we're campaigning in each others’ districts.

"It undermines the team. So, I think it's wrong."

Trump called Bacon "bad news" in 2022, but Bacon admitted he is ready to back Trump in 2024 to defeat President Joe Biden.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., who endorsed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley against Trump but has said he will back Trump in the general election, is not done trying to turn the party against Trump-backed Rep. William Timmons, R-S.C.

"We have to make some drastic changes," he told CNN. "We're losing our country. We're going bankrupt. He just had to take a leadership role in my opinion. And we've got a man now that's heading the Freedom Caucus in South Carolina.

"He will fight for freedom. And he will be one of us."

Timmons says the opposition to him might be about reasons other than him.

"I don't think it's about me," he told CNN. "I think they're fighting over other things. But you know, at the end of day, if you're not friends with somebody that votes with you 94% of the time, you're not going to have a lot of friends."

Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., is ready to for the challenge after being one of eight members to have voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

"You know how this town works: You can't come up here and just start making waves and not pay for it, right?" Crane told CNN. "So the way I see it, it is good. It just reaffirms that I'm doing what I came here to do."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The Republican Party's infighting continues to frustrate House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who is calling on his GOP colleagues to "knock it off" and focus on the 2024 general election amid a narrow majority in the House that has dwindled down to just two.
house, speaker, mike johnson, gop, majority
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2024-38-17
Sunday, 17 March 2024 10:38 AM
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