Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich weighed in on the race for his former leadership position over the weekend, saying that a female might be better suited for the role.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” with host Shannon Bream, Gingrich blasted the eight Republicans who he says “betrayed the conference” by voting to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy three weeks ago and said that “right now” his party “can’t govern” because of it.
The former speaker said the House Republicans should consider a female for speaker to unite the conference.
“They need to pick somebody to get stability. I frankly wish that they … had a woman candidate out of all the candidates they’ve got running. You know, somebody like Elise Stefanik or Beth Van Duyne,” Gingrich said.
“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,” Gingrich said.
Rep. Van Duyne has represented Texas’ 24th District since 2021. Rep. Stefanik (R-NY), who serves as the House Republican conference chair, released a list of candidates for speaker at the deadline to announce a candidacy. Nine candidates are vying for the role, including Reps. Jack Bergman (MI), Byron Donalds (FL), Tom Emmer (MN), Kevin Hern (OK), Mike Johnson (LA), Dan Meuser (PA), Gary Palmer (AL), Austin Scott (GA), and Pete Sessions (TX).
When asked about the candidates and the potential for some legislators who might be a “no vote forever and ever,” Gingrich said Republicans have to all gather in the same room to keep meeting and talking to determine who the speaker nominee will be.
“I’d work backwards,” Gingrich said. “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. It could be the most surprising person. If they can get 217 – and they can keep 217 – make them speaker.”
Gingrich noted that the previous process of taking the candidate who could get a majority of the conference to the floor of the House, only for them to fail to garner the simple majority needed to become speaker, wasn’t working and should not be the path going forward.
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