Newt Gingrich: Ousting Johnson ‘Totally Stupid’


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the idea of moving ahead with the effort to oust current Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., “totally stupid.”

Gingrich said that unless those pushing the motion to vacate had already secured the necessary 218 votes to replace Johnson, the chamber would likely be thrown into chaos again.

“It would be totally stupid,” Gingrich told Politico in an interview published Friday. “My question would be, Show me the 218 you’ve got for somebody, because otherwise what you’re doing is putting us through three weeks of looking like idiots — which [Rep. Matt] Gaetz [R-Fla.] managed to do.”

He referenced Gaetz’s motion to vacate, which triggered the vote that led to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s removal in October. Without a leader, the House was closed for business and paralyzed for three weeks as several candidates grappled for the speaker’s gavel.

“It was bad enough that it took 15 ballots for McCarthy to finally win,” Gingrich said. “But to then turn and destroy his speakership, throwing the entire party and the entire House into [chaos].”

Gingrich stressed the gravitas of being a federal lawmaker and said the House GOP majority does not seem able to self-govern.

“You’ve got to remember, this isn’t some game at a PTA meeting,” he said. “This is the House of Representatives. It has serious constitutional obligations. We live in a dangerous world, and we look like we are absurdly incapable of governing ourselves.”

In recent months, some Republican members have expressed frustration with Johnson’s tenure and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., filed a motion to remove him from his position in March over his support for a $1.2 trillion spending bill.

“We need a Speaker of the House who will fight to secure America’s border at all cost!” Greene wrote on X at the time. “Not one that passes a trillion dollar Democrat wish list that continues the border invasion, funds the weaponized government, and breaks our own conference rules. I’m done with this one.”

On Tuesday, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said he would support Greene’s motion to vacate Johnson’s position.

“I just told Mike Johnson in conference that I’m cosponsoring the Motion to Vacate that was introduced by @RepMTG,” Massie said on X. “He should pre-announce his resignation (as Boehner did), so we can pick a new Speaker without ever being without a GOP Speaker.”

For his part, Johnson has indicated that he isn’t leaving House leadership anytime soon.

“I am not resigning, and it is in my view an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion,” Johnson said, according to ABC News. “I am not concerned about this. I am going to do my job.”

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