Idaho’s two Republican congressmen attack each other over speaker vote

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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There’s trouble in potato paradise.

Idaho’s two members of Congress, Rep. Raul Labrador and Rep. Mike Simpson, took repeated swings at each other in an interview with the Idaho Statesman, in the wake of Labrador’s involvement in a failed coup to oust John Boehner as speaker of the House.

Simpson called his fellow Republican’s role in the ultimately aborted uprising “irresponsible,” and said he, along with several other members of the caucus, “have substantially lost credibility” following the vote.

“He just didn’t vote — which, as anyone who’s ever been in a legislative body will tell you, you got one thing going for you, and that’s your credibility. And once you lose that credibility, it’s gone, and it’s gone forever,” Simpson told the Idaho Statesman, while “shaking his head in anger.”

Labrador did not mince words hitting back, calling his fellow Idahoan a “bully” and “an old-school legislator that went to Washington, D.C., to compromise.” (RELATED OPINION: In defense of John Boehner)

“That’s how you get to a $1 trillion deficit, by just tinkering around the edges,” Labrador said. “But I think we live in a new world where we have some very serious fiscal issues in America, and you need to have people who are willing to say ‘no’ to a lot of things — things that are very popular back home — and that are willing to put their political careers on the line.”

Labrador also went after his colleague for attacking him in public, saying he had been avoiding speaking to the press about the issue until he met with Boehner on Tuesday.

Labrador and Simpson belong to different wings of the party, with Labrador counting himself among the tea partiers. Simpson, according to the Idaho Statesman, is one of Boehner’s best friends.

Asked for comment, Labrador’s press secretary, Phil Hardy, suggested to The Daily Caller that the spat would not affect the work of the Idaho delegation.

“The Idaho Delegation has a strong history of working together at both the Member level and particularly at the staff level for the benefit of all Idahoans,” Hardy emailed. “I fully expect this to continue in the future.”

Idaho Sen. James Risch’s office also said they did not expect there to be any negative effect on the delegation’s work.

A representative for Rep. Simpson did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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