Republican Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador took to Facebook Wednesday to defend his vote for House Speaker John Boehner. The Tea Party conservative who previously fought Boehner’s bid for speaker in 2013, is now taking heat from conservatives who feel he’s a RINO and “faux conservative” for not ousting Speaker Boehner this time around.
“I can’t blame many of my supporters for being upset with my vote for Speaker Boehner. I ask, however, that they consider not just a single vote but my long record as a champion of conservative values who stands up to the establishment,” the Idaho congressman wrote on Facebook.
Labrador answered his critics on a local talk radio show KBOI 670’s Nate Shelman Show. Shelman pressed the congressman on the criticism that he has “turned his back on his constituents and the Tea Party” and has been called a “sell-out.”
“There is nobody in Washington, D.C. who has fought this speaker more than I have. In fact, I was the leader of the coup last time… We tried to get rid of him two years ago. We had the numbers to get rid of him and at the last minute, a bunch of people turned their backs and they voted for him. And that’s when we had the numbers,” Labrador responded.
The congressman points out the speaker battle this time around didn’t have the same numbers to make the fight worthwhile.
“This year is totally different. They never had the numbers to get rid of the speaker. They weren’t sufficient people to vote the speaker,” he told radio host Nate Shelman.
Labrador believes a real battle for speaker should have started much earlier. He says November was when they “had the opportunity to take him down. That’s when we should have done it.”
“At last minute a bunch of people announced they wanted to oust the speaker. Why didn’t they call us in November?” Labrador asks.
“If you’re going to take the king down, you have to cut off his head.”