Republicans are united on one thing, at least: they can’t stand being questioned or called out.
Tuesday night Republicans came together for a brief press conference to announce that they’ve selected their new nominee for House Speaker: Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA). They even took a few questions from reporters.
However, the conference was clearly only prepared to take questions that were supportive and cast the party and its nominee in a favorable light.
When Johnson was asked about his record, the dozens of Republican legislators standing behind him started booing, with Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) even shouting at the reporter to shut up!
The question arose because there are concerns about electing an election denier as Speaker.
Other House Representatives — most notably Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) — have indicated they would hesitate to support someone who cannot clearly and unequivocally say that Donald Trump lost in 2020, and it’s a concern for their constituents as well.
So, naturally, when a reporter brought up Johnson’s role in attacking the 2020 election, instead of addressing the matter and making sure that Americans know exactly where their Speaker nominee stands, the majority party drowned out the dissent and refused to answer.
You’ll see clips of that below, but first let’s review exactly what Johnson’s role in the 2020 election was, since he doesn’t want to answer that himself. NBC reports:
“Johnson, who currently serves as the GOP caucus vice chair and is an ally of Trump, led the amicus brief signed by more than 100 House Republicans in support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate the 2020 election results in four swing states won by Biden: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”
He publicly argued that there was rampant fraud in the 2020 election, despite all evidence to the contrary. Nearly a month after the election, for example, he tweeted:
“We owe it to every single American citizen to root out and prosecute the fraud that has occurred.”
It’s comments like this that led reporters (and the public they serve) to wonder whether Republicans like Rep. Buck, who said he won’t support an insurrectionist for house Speaker, are on board for Johnson.
Watch the clip below to see Republicans boo and tell a reporter to “shut up,” then scroll past to see a longer clip for more context.
Witness the party of free speech.
Reporter: You help lead the effort to overturn the 2020 election results, do you—
Republicans: *boo* shut up pic.twitter.com/L7R5fwhpIi
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 25, 2023
In this longer clip, you can see Republicans announce their candidate, and take a few questions — including the one that caused the uproar above.
Whether Johnson can garner 217 votes and become the solution to the Republicans’ Speaker problem remains to be seen.