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Bridget Johnson


January 3, 2013 - 4:15 pm

One of the two House members who voted for former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) as speaker today said it doesn’t mean Ohio Republican John Boehner isn’t “brilliant and talented,” but that it’s time for change.

“We have already seen people be purged for not voting as they were expected,” Rep. Louie Gohmert said on Fox today, in reference to a few of the votes against Boehner — by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), and Walt Jones (R-N.C.).

But the Texas Republican defended Boehner as “one of the nicest guys around, one of the most fun guys to be around. But we are — this Congress is so full of brilliant, talented people.”

“When you have so many brilliant and talented people in Congress, it doesn’t say anything about somebody not being a nice guy. It just says it’s time for a change at the top.”

Gohmert said he already knew that he wouldn’t get a committee chairmanship from Boehner. “I guess the only one that the speaker doesn’t have a say in nixing was — I’m co-chair of the Thursday morning prayer breakfast Bible study,” he quipped.

“But this is a matter of we cannot be about business as usual. And that is what my vote was. It was a statement that we cannot be about business as usual,” the congressman said.

“The asparagus farmers did need the help, apparently, is what we are told,” he added, needling at the fiscal cliff deal pork. “Anyway, and so did the race car, motocross, whatever was included in there.”

“But the thing is, it is time for a different — a change, it’s time for something different, a change of pace. And I just could not vote for business as usual.”

The other vote for West came from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.). West called the speaker votes “humbling.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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