After President Biden mocked House Republicans for their contentious efforts to select a Speaker of the House, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fired back.
Biden called the House Speaker situation “embarrassing,” saying, “We’ve had a lot of trouble with the attacks on our institutions already.”
“I think the idea that Joe Biden, who has been lying consistently about his son, who’s gotten rich by means I think are probably illegal, who has never been to the border … you look at his policies, you look at his weakness around the world, I don’t think we need to be lectured by Joe Biden,” Gingrich snapped to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
“This is a healthy, free Republican Party,” Gingrich continued. “We’re not the Nancy Pelosi machine. We don’t have the culture of the Democrats. We’re not a collection of mascots led around by the nose and the nose and that part of the nature of being Republican. If you want to be an independent, free-thinking person who has to get up and argue your case, you ought to be Republican. If you want to be part of a group that does all you’re told by your boss, you ought to be a Democrat.”
Ingraham asked Gingrich if Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is fighting to become Speaker amid a series of losing votes, would reach out to Democrats if he couldn’t gain the necessary votes to become Speaker.
“I don’t think that Kevin would do that. McCarthy is a very solid conservative,” Gingrich asserted. “There is no common ground. If you give the Democrats any sense of control, they’re gonna demand veto over the investigations. They’re going to demand veto over the committee structures. It’s not possible.”
Gingrich indicated he saw signs that the impasse between the two groups of Republicans in the House would be surmounted, saying, “I noted the motion to adjourn, all but four of them voted with the conference. Only four of them voted against the Republican conference on the motion to adjourn. And I think that’s a good sign. I’ve been told all day from various phone calls that a lot of the members are now looking for a way to come back together. They want some concessions. Most of the things they want are relatively reasonable and that’s part of the legislative process.”
Gingrich predicted that a Speaker would be chosen by the end of the day Thursday, then turned to history to counter those who catastrophized the situation, saying it meant doom for the Republican Party: “The last time this happened in 1923, it took nine ballots and the following election the Republicans picked up 22 more seats. So people shouldn’t assume this is the end of the Republican Party in any way. This is a healthy, tough, serious conversation.”
“You can’t have 10% of the conference dictate to 90% of the conference,” he warned. “Lincoln warned in his first inaugural in 1861, the problem with secession as a principle is once you get to secede, so does everybody else get to secede. Well, that’s the problem that these guys have now created. They basically said any five Republicans can decide to blackmail the conference and I think that’s going to be totally unacceptable as a way of going forward and it would make the House ungovernable and would betray the trust of the American people. Remember, we got almost 3 million more votes than the Democrats did for the House and those folks voted for us to have some kind of effective system, not to spend all of the next two years in chaos.”