Voting against the re-election of Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, for speaker of the House got Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Fla., kicked off of
the influential House Rules Committee, but Nugent has no regrets.
"I would be lying if I said I respected his [Boehner's] leadership. He simply hasn’t earned it," Nugent, a three-term congressman, Tea Party Caucus member and former sheriff of Hernando County, Florida, said in a blast against Boehner sent out to Nugent's constituents, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Nugent used the communication to launch a lengthy litany of complaints against Boehner, including Boehner's "failure" to inform rank-and-file Republicans of his intentions on military spending and tax reform, his "months-long delay" in filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama over executive actions, Boehner's "18-month wait" over appointing a select committee to look into the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi and Boehner's "basic [and repeated] tactical failures" on legislation, Politico reports.
He also slammed Boehner for announcing that he was dumping Nugent from the Rules Committee before privately informing Nugent.
"In short, [and not all of my colleagues feel this way]," Nugent wrote, "you don’t run to the newspapers and talk disparagingly about a colleague without first having the decency to say it to his face."
As part of the House conservative revolt against Boehner's leadership last Tuesday, Nugent voted for Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., earning him Boehner's wrath. Boehner easily cruised to a first ballot victory with 216 votes, although 24 Republicans opposed him, while Webster, who also received the "Boehner boot" from the Rules Committee, received just 12 votes, CBS News reported.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Politico, "Rep. Nugent’s message to his constituents is consistent with what he told the press several days ago. The speaker, as always, will not discuss a private conversation with any member of the House Republican Conference."
Nugent, who spoke privately with Boehner Thursday before going public with the letter, wrote, "As I said to him privately this week, I don’t believe that John Boehner is the best man for the job. This may surprise some people [including the speaker] but it has far more to do with his leadership abilities than it does with his conservatism. What I mean by that is that if you can’t lead and you can’t deliver, then your own personal political philosophy is pretty much irrelevant."
Nugent faulted Boehner for tactical errors on the House floor, noting that a House jobs bill was promised support by Democrats, who "pulled that support at the last minute," Nugent wrote.
"There have been far too many occasions over the last four years where the House has been ineffective and America just can’t wait any longer. America needs vision, a sense of purpose, and an ability to follow through. We aren’t getting those things," Nugent wrote.
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