Washington D.C. was in turmoil as House Democrats lashed out at the election of Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the new Speaker of the House, making him the first Republican to be unanimously elected by his conference since 2011.
The news was initially met with a positive response from President Joe Biden, who congratulated Johnson and expressed his commitment to working with him in good faith. However, the sentiment was not shared by Democrats in the House, who were quick to condemn Johnson's ascension to the speakership.
1) Biden campaign statement on Johnson
2 and 3) White House statement. pic.twitter.com/wevlllzfU1
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 25, 2023
In an emailed statement, Ammar Moussa, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, strongly condemned Johnson's election, labeling him a "MAGA extremist" and expressing concern over the "extreme MAGA takeover" of the Republican Party.
Prominent Democrats in Congress, including Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), also voiced their disapproval of Johnson's election. Porter called him an "insurrectionist" and accused him of being "second in line to the presidency." Omar similarly labeled him a "MAGA extremist" and accused him of having a record of opposing women's rights and LGBTQ+ rights.
Insurrectionist Mike Johnson is now second in line to the presidency. The American people deserve better.https://t.co/tozlz8VEny
— Katie Porter (@katieporteroc) October 25, 2023
Rep. Gomez went a step further, claiming that Johnson's election signified the GOP succumbing to the radical wing of their party. He also accused Johnson of being a "MAGA extremist" who has fueled the January 6th insurrection and is controlled by former President Donald Trump.
Other top Democrats, including Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also took to social media to express their dismay over Johnson's win. Schiff warned against researching Johnson, reiterating his belief that Johnson is a "pro-Trump, leading election denier" in the House. Ocasio-Cortez introduced Johnson as an "extremist GOP Speaker nominee" and accused him of being a key architect of the January 6th insurrection.
House GOP has made MAGA extremist, Mike Johnson Speaker.
❌Architect of overturning election
❌Seeks abortion ban
❌Voted against LGBTQ+ rights
❌Wants to gut Social Security
With this choice, Republicans have embraced the extreme MAGA playbook. https://t.co/zR9G9Xegxi
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) October 25, 2023
The election of Johnson as Speaker of the House was not without controversy. It came after three weeks of chaos in the House, following the ousting of Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). Johnson's victory on the first ballot was a significant blow to Democrats, who had hoped to prevent a Republican from taking the Speaker's gavel.
The response from Democrats underscores the deep political divide in Washington D.C. and highlights the issues facing the new Speaker as he takes on his new role. Johnson, a staunch Trump supporter and election denier, will be tasked with leading a closely divided House and working with a Democratic administration.
You might be Googling who Mike Johnson is this morning.
Let me make it simple:
Johnson is a hard-right, pro-Trump, leading election denier in the House.
Sadly, this is what passes for Speaker material in the Republican conference.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 25, 2023
In conclusion, Mike Johnson's election as Speaker of the House has caused an uproar among Democrats, who view him as a symbol of the "MAGA" and "extremist" takeover of the Republican Party. The contentious election highlights the partisan gridlock in Congress and sets the tone for what is sure to be a challenging term for Johnson as Speaker.
Introducing extremist GOP Speaker nominee Mike Johnson.
He was a key architect of the Jan 6th strategy to overturn the US election.
Here he is leading a crowd that’s booing and telling a Congressional correspondent to “shut up” when asking about it. https://t.co/M7Fi4rwaCG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 25, 2023