Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich suggested House Republicans should select a female Speaker because she would be “more effective” in bringing the Conference together.
Gingrich, who has been an outspoken critic of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s effort to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the seat earlier this month, made his comments during an appearance on Fox News Sunday with host Shannon Bream.
The former Speaker said Gaetz and the seven other House Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy “unleashed furies” they didn’t “dream of.”
“They gave every person the right to be equally destructive and equally angry. … Now it’s a mess,” he said.
Gingrich said House Republicans needed to pick a Speaker to “get stability.”
“I frankly wish that they … had a woman candidate out of all the candidates they’ve got running,” he said, noting female Reps. Elise Stafanik of New York and Beth Van Duyne of Texas. “I think, in some ways, given the level of rowdiness and the level of juvenile behavior, it’s conceivable that a female Speaker would be more effective in actually getting them all to get together and stick together.”
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The former Speaker reiterated the Republican Conference needed to “learn to stick together.”
Bream noted a prospective Speaker needed to secure a majority 217 votes in Congress and asked who Gingrich thought could bring moderate and conservative Republicans together.
Gingrich said he would “work backwards” to find a prospective Speaker.
“I would do a whip check and say, ‘Who could possibly get 217?’ I don’t care who they are. They don’t have to be candidates right now,” he said. “It could be the most surprising person. If they can get 217, and they can keep 217, make them speaker.”
Nine House Republicans, including Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, have launched bids for Speaker of the House. Seven other House Republicans vying for the office include Reps. Jack Bergman of Michigan, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania, Gary Palmer of Alabama, Austin Scott of Georgia, and Pete Sessions of Texas.
Donalds, who was originally nominated during January’s historically contested Speaker vote, said he would release all available footage of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021 if elected Speaker.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan launched separate bids for Speaker on the same day after McCarthy was ousted. Scalise initially secured the GOP nomination for Speaker, though withdrew his candidacy after failing to secure a majority 217 votes in Congress.
Three ballots were held for Jordan, who also secured the GOP nomination, but the Ohio representative similarly failed to secure a majority in Congress. Jordan was removed as the GOP nominee for Speaker on Friday.
The House will hold a candidate forum today.