GOP presidential candidates embarrassed by party’s speaker saga

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Republicans’ three-week speaker saga is finally over, with House lawmakers electing Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana as the 56th speaker of the House on Wednesday.

But along the way, GOP presidential candidates didn’t mince their words when asked about the self-inflicted chaos on Capitol Hill.

“Let us pray for the House,” said Sen. in jest during a town hall in Indianola, Iowa, on Tuesday when asked about the speaker drama. “Please stop embarrassing the party, in Jesus’ name, amen,” Scott added to a laughing crowd.

Scott went on to compliment the Democrats and criticize his own party. “The Democrats, and I mean this sincerely, they might not like each other, but a couple of days a year, on Election Day, they always vote in lockstep,” said Scott.



“The Democrats are like a basketball team. They play together,” Scott went on. “Republicans, we’re more like a golf team or a track team. Everybody seems to be on their own race.”

The South Carolinian wasn’t alone in his feelings. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reacted to Rep. Tom Emmer’s, R-Minn., short-lived nomination for the speakership during a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, saying, “It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing, first and foremost for our party.”

“We can’t get out of our own way… just pick someone. I don’t care, I quite frankly don’t care if they pick you,” Christie said to a member of the audience. “Someone from this room should just get in your car, drive to Washington and say, ‘Look, you don’t know me. That means you don’t have any reason to hate me. Why don’t you make me speaker of the House,’” added Christie.

Nor was former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley in the mood to defend her fellow Republicans when asked about the speakership situation during a town hall in Sheffield, Iowa, on Saturday.

“I am not going to cover up for any of them,” said Haley. “And what bothered me is, why did they go home for the weekend? They should stay until they get it done,” she added, also questioning why members of Congress were still getting paid while the speaker position was still vacant.

And at one of his stops, Florida Gov. described Republicans on Capitol Hill as “chickens with their heads cut off.” Speaking to the press after a campaign stop in Epping, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, DeSantis said, “They’re not delivering results that our voters wanted.”

Former Vice President was quick to take aim at the eight Republicans who ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the first place, branding them the “chaos caucus.”

“It’s time for members of the conference to sit a few people down and ask them if they want to be on the team or off the team,” Pence said while officially filing for the presidency in Concord, New Hampshire.

While Pence implied rebellious Republicans were acting like children, calling for the “adults in the room” to sort the mess out, 38-year-old businessman said Republicans on Capitol Hill were playing children’s games.

“I think the musical chairs of who gets trotted out in the next speaker [race] matters far less than the foundational issues that we need to have the courage to address,” Ramaswamy said when asked about Emmer after a campaign stop in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on Saturday. For Ramaswamy, the question of who rose to speakership power wasn’t necessarily important.

“Forget about the who; we question about the what and the why. That’s what we need to focus on,” said Ramaswamy of the issues underlying the dysfunction.

While other candidates focused on the general dysfunction, Trump may have prolonged it at the end by reserving his firepower for Emmer, after his first choice for speaker, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed to win the job in multiple floor votes.

On his own social media platform, Truth Social, Trump wrote, “I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors. RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them.”

“Voting for a globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake.”

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