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 March 17, 2024

Speaker Johnson tells Republican rivals to 'cool it'

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, just ordered those Republicans who are facing off against each other in primary races to "cool it" with the contentious rhetoric.

This is according to a report that CNN published over the weekend.

According to the outlet, Johnson made the remark at the House GOP retreat that was held in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, last week.

It appears, though, that not everyone is going to follow Johnson's order.

"Knock it off"

Fox News reports that the purpose of the retreat was to unify the Republican conference.

Per the outlet:

Johnson, R-La., attended the House Republicans’ annual member retreat at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, last week to unify the often-fractious conference as at least four sitting Republicans in South Carolina, Illinois, Texas and Virginia are going to battle against Republican challengers.

CNN quotes Johnson, at the meetup, as asking his fellow Republicans to "cool it," saying that he is against "member-on-member action in primaries."

“I’ve asked them all to cool it. I am vehemently opposed to member-on-member action in primaries because it’s not productive. And it causes division for obvious reasons, and we should not be engaging in that," Johnson reportedly said.

"So I’m telling everyone who’s doing that to knock it off. And both sides, they’ll say, ‘Well, we didn’t start it, they started it,'" Johnson added.

"I'm going to go after them"

As mentioned earlier, it appears that not everyone is on board with Johnson's message of unification. And, among the dissenters is U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Gaetz, according to CNN, is "spearheading the effort against two of the GOP incumbents, Reps. Mike Bost of Illinois and Tony Gonzales of Texas."

In response to Johnson's message, Gaetz told CNN:

I would love nothing more than to just go after Democrats. But if Republicans are going to dress up like Democrats in drag, I’m going to go after them too. Because at the end of the day, we’re not judged by how many Republicans we have in Congress. We’re judged on whether or not we save the country.

Fox highlights the importance of Johnson's message, which is that House Republicans currently have a "razor-thin majority," so they need to stick together if they want to use this majority to their advantage.

Johnson, personally, says that. regardless of the outcome of the 2024 elections, his "intention is to stay as speaker, stay in leadership, because we're laying a lot of important groundwork right now for the big work that we'll be doing."

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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