House conservatives doubt Boehner stays

Greg Nash

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has spent the last few months seeking to dispel doubts that he’ll run for Speaker again in 2015. But he hasn’t convinced at least a few of his members that he plans to stick around.

Conservative Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) told reporters Tuesday that they didn’t believe Boehner would seek another term after the November midterm elections.

“I don’t think he runs,” Labrador said at an event held in conjunction with the Heritage Foundation.

“I don’t think he’s going to come back as Speaker either,” Salmon added.

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The conservatives were asked to respond to a report that Boehner were hatching a plan to punish members who refused to vote for him on the floor in January, two years after a group of conservatives failed in their bid to deny him the 218 votes he needed to win a second term as Speaker.

Labrador was one of the dozen members who didn’t vote for Boehner, while Salmon did.

“I think that would be the most bone-headed move,” Salmon said of any plan to punish Republicans who denied Boehner their vote. “Even making that kind of threat is a bone-headed move.”

Earlier this year, another Republican who supported Boehner in 2013, Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.) told The Hill he did not think he would run again.

Boehner has said he would seek another term and has argued that his support within the Republican conference is as strong as it has ever been, despite the difficulties the leadership has had in winning unified support for its priorities.