Republicans are once again turning on each other. On Friday, Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert took a jab at Republican infighting, joking that a mythical creature had a better shot of winning the speaker’s seat than one of her party’s own members.
“Colorado’s Bigfoot could get 217,” Boebert tweeted Friday morning, referring to the vote count required to earn the coveted position.
Other party members poked fun at the revolving door of names potentially seeking to become speaker.
“If we all get a chance to be voted on as speaker, are we going alphabetically or by class? Trying to plan Thanksgiving travel,” tweeted Representative Mike Collins.
Republicans have become increasingly frustrated since a Matt Gaetz–led platoon in the House ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy over a week ago. Hope shone through on Wednesday when party members nominated Representative Steve Scalise for the position in a closed-door meeting, though support quickly fell apart overnight, leading to his withdrawal just 30 hours later.
On Thursday, Representative Troy Nehls likened the fiasco to a “circus,” describing the scene as “utter chaos,” in an interview with CNN.
It was unclear if Representative Jim Jordan, fronting a one-man race for the gavel after Scalise’s retreat, could gain the votes required, given his controversial tenure in the House, his status as a founder of the far-right Freedom Caucus, and the general fear that his elevation to party leadership would hurt the reelection campaigns of Republicans who represent districts that Biden won in 2020.
A new challenger surprised everyone—including himself—by joining the race just moments before another closed-door GOP conference Friday afternoon. Representative Austin Scott, a low-profile Georgia congressman who described the Gaetz-led faction in the House as unprincipled “grifters,” told reporters that he’s only running to end the bedlam and get the legislative body back on track.
“I don’t necessarily want to be the speaker of the House,” Scott told Punchbowl News’s Mica Soellner. “I want a House that functions correctly, but the House is not functioning correctly right now.” He may not become speaker, but he’s right about that.