Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Friday vowed that Republicans would run some alternative to to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to become the next House Majority Leader.
On the Laura Ingraham radio show, Gohmert said Republicans are making a mistake to quickly hold new leadership elections last week in the wake of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia. Cantor’s defeat was widely seen as a reaction to his support for legal status for some illegal immigrants, a position that Gohmert and others oppose.
“This cannot be business as usual,” he said. “And since there has been this flurry of activity by the leadership, we can’t tell America that nobody here in Washington got the message.
“We’re going to have an alternative one way or another. Whether it’s [Rep.] Raul [Labrador], me, somebody, we’re going to have an alternative.”
Labrador is seen as a Tea Party favorite who is expected counter McCarthy for the second most power position in the House. McCarthy is already being dismissed by some as someone who is very similar to Cantor, right down to his softer position on immigration.
Both McCarthy and Cantor, for example, supported the GOP principles on immigration that were opposed by Gohmert and others.
Gohmert is among the many Republicans who have criticized House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for shutting down talk of other candidates by quickly pushing an election to make it easier for McCarthy to win.
“We need to be thoughtful about something this important,” he said. But Gohmert also said more time is needed to build support for other candidates, and said it’s not clear GOP leaders will give it to them — the election is already scheduled for June 19.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who also opposes anything approaching amnesty for illegal immigrants, has said the quick election effectively stacks the deck in favor of McCarthy, and makes it harder for other alternative candidates to run.