Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), who announced over the weekend that he wants to challenge House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for the gavel, said that Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-Texas) subsequent decision to throw his hat into the ring too won’t make him withdraw his name.
“I’m going to keep my name in the ring. And we’ve been actively courting other members and going out and talking to them and telling them why we need a change,” Yoho told Fox this morning.
Yoho, a veterinarian, is beginning his second term in Congress. As a freshman in 2013, he voted for then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) for speaker instead of Boehner.
“I think the biggest thing — and I hear it over and over again — you know, I’ve been there for two years and — we ran on Washington lacks leadership. And I’ve been there for two years. And we lack a leadership and we lack vision of where the country’s going. And I hear it from members. Not — it’s just not me feeling this. I hear it, over and over again, that we need new leadership. And I hear it from older members and I hear it from younger members,” he said.
“But without somebody willing to step up and put their name in the ring, there’s not an alternative. And I didn’t want to go into this Congress with the momentum we have from the November elections without the ability to change leadership in the House. And this is not a surprise. This is something — you know, when I went up there in January of 2013, I voted against Mr. Boehner, along with 10 other members. And this has been a buildup since then.”
Yoho says the anti-Boehner contingent should have the votes — 29 are needed — to force the voting to a second round.
In 2013, a dozen members voted against Boehner or abstained — including Boehner himself, as the speaker does not traditionally cast a vote in his favor.
“That’s our goal. And, you know, we fully anticipate to get there. We’ve already had nine members step out, saying they will not support this speaker. And this is significant because there’s members that have been there for quite a while that are coming out, stepping forward and saying, ‘We will not support Mr. Boehner,'” Yoho continued.
He added that he’s not worried about any “retribution” should Boehner hold on to the gavel.
“If you stand out or stick up for what you think is right and you’re willing to speak out — I mean, we’re in a country that honors free speech. And I fear no man. I mean, it’s — there should not be any retribution. We’re doing what my voters want me to do and I’m voting what my district says,” Yoho said.
“…If Mr. Boehner winds up winning or anybody who comes — becomes the speaker, I’ll go up to him, I’ll thank him and tell him, ‘You’re the speaker for the next two years, and I look forward to working with you to solve America’s problems and — and get a lot of these problems that have gone on for 30 years under control.'”