Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Friday said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his staff are making “threats” to discourage House Republicans interested in seeking leadership positions.
On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Gohmert said Boehner has a standard play for dealing with lawmakers who want to move up in the ranks.
“He normally will make offers, committee assignments, leadership assignments, whatever sounds good,” Gohmert said. “And then if you buck those, then you get into threats, then you get into staff threats.
“And then last, but not least, if nothing else works, he will cry,” he sad, taking a jab at the GOP leader.
Boehner's press secretary, Michael Steel, denied the accusation in an email to The Hill.
"That is absurd," Steel said. "The Speaker does not ever threaten other Members of Congress, nor does his staff."
The defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in his primary election Tuesday has set off a scramble for leadership posts.
On Friday, after the interview, Gohmert also announced that he would run for chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which is dedicated to advancing a conservative social and economic agenda.
Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) said Friday he would challenge Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to replace Cantor as majority leader.
Before Labrador’s announcement, Gohmert said that he was also weighing a run if there was no alternative to McCarthy.
“We are going to have an alternative one way or the other. Whether it’s Raúl or me, we’re going to have an alternative, but we’ve got to have more time,” Gohmert said.
He pointed out that Cantor is leaving his post July 31, but leadership elections will be held more than a month in advance next Thursday.
“We really need time to think about this ... there’s really no reason to rush this election,” he said.
Gohmert also suggested Boehner might be responsible for Cantor’s shocking loss.
“He and Boehner locked horns a number of times,” he said. “All you have to do is get around our Speaker for very long and look what he has done with a great guy, Eric Cantor, which I would submit led to Eric’s defeat. If he were standing up like he did before, he would have won.”