Conservatives: Boehner Would Have Let Speaker Race Happen If Webster Dropped Out

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — House GOP members supporting Florida Republican Rep. Daniel Webster for speaker are suspicious about why outgoing Speaker John Boehner delayed the speaker election when his endorsed candidate, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, dropped out at the last minute.

“If Daniel Webster would have dropped out before that meeting, you can be damn sure that election would have gone on and that’s not right. Rules have to be the same for everybody and this was another unforced error,” South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a Freedom Caucus member, told The Daily Caller Friday afternoon.

“I don’t understand why we didn’t vote yesterday,” Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said.

Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash agreed saying, “They certainly wouldn’t have postponed the election had either of the other two candidates withdrawn.”

Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie fumed to reporters as he exited the conference meeting Friday morning, “We had two candidates yesterday and they called off the election because they didn’t like the result.” He added, “What’s this tell the American people? It looks like a banana republic here.”

A dispute over how the election was ended was inquired about. “The speaker moved that we adjourn and it passed by unanimous consent,” Rep. Lynn Jenkins, vice chairwoman of the conference, told CQ Roll Call. Jenkins’s explanation appeared to confuse the rules of motion to adjourn and motion to postpone the election.

“Even if it were within the rules,” Amash said, “it still indicates that the leadership [was] not interested in supporting the conference nominee — if the conference nominee were someone other than the candidate they were supporting.”

Although Webster himself said it was “necessary” for Boehner to postpone the election, he agrees that the speaker would have allowed the election to take place if he was the one to have dropped out instead of McCarthy.