Former Rep. Steven C. LaTourette on Friday blasted the handful of Republicans who did not support John A. Boehner for House speaker as “chuckleheads,” saying that “we could train a monkey to come to Congress and vote ‘no.’”
The Ohio Republican said he wishes the new Congress well, but that it wasn’t a good sign that such voters would “leave the reservation,” calling the vote a “no-brainer.”
“It’s all about whether your party is going to control the agenda in the House of Representatives,” he said on CNN. “And what, these chuckleheads think that having Nancy Pelosi being speaker of the House is better for the Republican Party? I don’t think so. And so they really have to come to terms with, ‘Why are they here?’ If they’re just here to vote ‘no,’ I mean, we could train a monkey to come and vote ‘no.’ If they’re here to legislate then they need to be serious about legislating and that is find common ground and not say, ‘Well, it’s 100 percent or nothing.’ That really isn’t how the system was built.”
Three dissenting Republicans voted for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Mr. Boehner’s chief lieutenant, and the second-ranking Republican shook his head in disgust as those fellow members called out his name during the roll call.
Two Republicans cast their votes for former Rep. Allen B. West, the Florida Republican and tea party favorite who lost his re-election bid in November.
Meanwhile, Rep. Walter B. Jones, a North Carolina Republican who was booted from his committee assignments by Mr. Boehner this year, voted for David M. Walker, the former comptroller general of the federal government.
In addition to Mr. Jones, the Republicans who didn’t vote for Mr. Boehner were Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Paul C. Broun of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Stevan Pearce of New Mexico and Ted S. Yoho of Florida.
Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican, voted “present.”