Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), considered the most conservative leader of the U.S. House of Representatives of the past century, owes his newfound status at least in part to his colleague from Colorado, Lauren Boebert.
As the Durango Herald noted in its coverage of her appearance at the Montezuma County GOP’s fundraiser last weekend, “Boebert claimed partial credit for helping spur Johnson’s campaign for the powerful position. Earlier this month, as the House was preparing to recess yet again without a speaker, Boebert yelled out: “I nominate Mike Johnson for speaker.” The story then quoted from Boebert’s speech:
“’Mike Johnson sent me a message that night,’ said Boebert. ‘He said: ‘Thank you so much for your support. Some other people have approached me since you stood up and said something. I prayed about it. I think I’m gonna run for speaker,’’ said Boebert. ‘The next week, without any opposition, we elected Speaker Mike Johnson.’”
Asked to elaborate on Boebert’s role, Boebert’s press secretary Anthony Fakhoury confirmed that Boebert played a key role in Johnson’s ascendence. Her shouted “nomination” took place at the very end of the Republicans’ closed-door conference meeting on Oct 20, so while it wasn’t the formal nomination to the entire House, it was substantially the moment when his name was proposed to the majority caucus. Furthermore, she had already floated his name publicly in an online chat discussion the previous day, which Johnson himself thanked her for doing.
“It is true, Congresswoman Boebert took initiative to help the House elect a new Speaker,” said Fakhoury. “She was very against sending everyone home for the weekend while we remained without a leader. She was eager to work on appropriations, securing our border and supporting our allies in Israel.
On the Thursday before the Speakers race, Congresswoman Boebert joined Rep. Gaetz and thousands of others on X Spaces for a chat about the Speakers race and our country. On the Spaces, they were discussing the speakers race and began talking about potential alternates to Jim Jordan, if he can’t win. The Congresswoman then brought up Mike Johnson’s name and educated the listeners about who he is and what he stands for. She had a lot of praise for him. For most of the listeners, that was the first time they had ever heard of Mike Johnson.
Mike heard about the kind words she shared about him and thanked her via text and even offered to join the next Spaces event she does. He told her he was considering running.
The next day, at the closed-door conference vote, they had told everyone that they are adjourning and will resume on Monday after Jordan failed to maintain the Speaker designee position. The Congresswoman was very much against this and ready to elect a Speaker. Just as the meeting was about to end, she got up and shouted, “I nominate Mike Johnson for Speaker.” The Conference then still adjourned and sent everyone home. Shortly after the meeting, she received a text from Johnson thanking her for the support and willingness to nominate him (as seen in your quote by her) he then informed her that he was running for Speaker of the House.
She was proud to endorse him then, and she’s proud to be able to call him Speaker of the House now.”
The X.com Spaces chat Fakhoury mentioned is called ChelleShocked and is hosted by a pro-Trump podcaster. The Oct. 19 episode also featured embattled Congressman George Santos (R-NY), who agreed with Boebert that Johnson would be the best Speaker should Jordan drop out, and perhaps even his first choice all along.
Lauren Boebert: Jim Jordan is our choice right now. If Jim Jordan has to back out. –I pray he doesn’t. I hope that his faith is enduring. You know, Jesus said, Oh, ye of little faith. And he wasn’t talking about the size of your faith. He was talking about the endurance of your faith. How long will your faith go? And it almost sounds like a rap song, but it wasn’t when Jesus said it. And I want him to endure all of this, like, let’s go 15, let’s go 20. Let’s go until Jim Jordan is out of blue shirts and yellow ties- I’m here for it. But if for some reason, he drops out, I mean, Matt, George, what do you think? I think our only number two that we can actually fully get behind is a Mike Johnson.
George Santos: That’s been my- that’s been my guy for the longest. I keep saying it.
Lauren Boebert: Mike Johnson is righteous. He’s a Christian. He stands back. He’s wonderful. But the American people don’t know Mike Johnson like they know Jim Jordan. They trust him. They believe in him as as do we, even when we have been on opposing sides of Jim Jordan, we know that his heart is right, his motives are correct, and we can still support his he justifying of whatever side he is on. We can still say that’s Jim Jordan. That’s who we stand before the stand behind this is one of our guys.
Johnson’s office did not respond to an email request for comment. This article will be updated with any response received.
Boebert and Johnson’s shared religious right beliefs have led them to co-sponsor a handful of bills together, most of which address abortion. They include the Life At Conception Act, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, the Stop the Sexualization of Children Act, and a resolution condemning the recent attacks on pro-life facilities, which is the only one to have passed a vote of the full House.
The pair’s fervent belief that Christians should be running America according to strict Biblical principles has also led to both Boebert and Johnson being characterized as Christian Nationalists. Boebert rejects the label, but has said that the “church is supposed to direct the government,” and called for Christians to replace ungodly politicians with “righteous men and women of God.”