GOP lawmaker: We need a Speaker who can 'bang heads and break legs'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) says Republicans need to pick a Speaker who can flex their political muscle and keep the party's many factions in line.

"Everyone should be listened to, everyone should be heard, but we're not a high school debating society," King said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.


"I think you need a Speaker who can show leadership, but also, quite frankly, a Speaker that can bang heads and break legs if he has to, to get the job done."

Republicans are huddling Friday morning to figure out their next steps after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power McCarthy claims protests in Louisville, other cities are 'planned, orchestrated events' MORE (R-Calif.) shocked Washington Thursday by abruptly dropping out of the race to succeed outgoing Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ohio).

Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) are officially running for the Speaker post and a number of others have said they are weighing a bid. McCarthy, though, was seen as the clear favorite before his surprise exit.

Many Republicans have voiced a desire to see Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.), the House Ways and Means Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee, enter the race.

King said he would support Ryan "110 percent," but couldn't foresee getting behind any of the other potential contenders.

King on Friday cited former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, noting that "when she took over the Conservative Party in Britain, she was brutal in purging her enemies."

"We have to get a job done and we have to realize that you have a leader and you get behind him," he added.