Boehner ally: GOP challenges to Speaker 'unprofessional'

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) called GOP challenges to Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerDem senator to reintroduce ‘buy American’ legislation GOP senators offer bill to require spending cuts with debt-limit hikes Pelosi blasts Trump’s ‘rookie error’ on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Ohio) “pretty unprofessional and very disappointing” on Monday.

Cole, a close ally to Boehner, said the challenges aren’t serious and criticized Republicans trying to unseat the Speaker for not trying to do so when the GOP held its internal discussions late last year.

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“Well, I don’t think they’re very serious,” he said while appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe" of the bids by Rep. Louie GohmertLouie Gohmert Freedom Caucus chairman: I’m less optimistic about entitlement reform Ryan-aligned group targets conservatives with robocalls The Hill's Whip List: 33 GOP 'no' votes on ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Ted YohoTed YohoDefying Trump, Freedom Caucus insists it'll oppose GOP ObamaCare replacement The Hill's Whip List: 33 GOP 'no' votes on ObamaCare repeal plan A guide to the committees: House MORE (R-Fla.) to challenge Boehner for speakership.

“And frankly, they’re pretty disappointing in the sense that anyone who wanted to run could have run in the conference elections and none of them did. So by going out and not voting for the conference choice, you’re not attacking John Boehner, you’re really attacking the Republican conference that you say you’re part of,” Cole said.

Gohmert, Yoho and other Boehner critics argue the Speaker didn’t do enough to stop President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Some conservatives wanted to withhold funding for the government over the order, which could defer deportations for up to 4.5 million immigrants.

Several Republicans have joined the charge against Boehner, though it appears opponents remain short of the nearly 30 GOP votes they’d need to unseat him. 

Incoming Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said Sunday that she expected Boehner to be elected again.

“We voted in our conference in November, and … it was near unanimous,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I think there was one weak voice that didn't say, that may have said ‘nay.’ There hasn't been a campaign or any phone calls that anyone has received, so I expect that will move forward very smoothly.”