Iowa Congressman Steve King is urging his fellow House Republicans to rally around a Florida congressman’s bid to become the next speaker of the House.
“Well for me — in for a penny, in for a pound. I’m all-the-way-in with Daniel Webster,” King says. “And I absolutely believe in him and I think that he could transform the House of Representatives and leave a legacy that would run well after whatever tenure he might have as speaker.”
On Thursday, King sent an email to House Republicans, urging them to publicly endorse Webster.
“Somebody who is not polarizing, who is not viewed as being one wing of the party or another, one who has a steady hand, one who respects every member,” King says.
Webster is a former state legislator from Florida. Nearly two decades ago Webster became the first Republican speaker of the Florida House for more than a century. King says the 66-year-old Webster, who is from central Florida, promises a “member-driven” approach to operations in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“And we need the House transformed in congress, that we know,” King says.
King says no other candidate running “or rumored to run” for speaker has matched Webster’s commitment to “bottom up governing.” King also praises Webster for his “excellent record opposing amnesty.” King’s letter to his House colleagues urges them to jump on Webster’s bandwagon to “build momentum” for his candidacy.
Others are urging Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to change his mind and run for speaker. King says Ryan would face the same difficulties in uniting House Republicans that doomed John Boehner, the Ohio congressman who announced last month that he was resigning as House speaker and leaving congress.
Here is the email King sent to his House GOP colleagues:
Other than one candidate dropping out, nothing has changed in the race for Speaker. The best candidate, Daniel Webster, is gaining momentum for his demonstrated leadership. Dan is arguing for a principled member-driven approach that will transform the culture of the House. His approach will bridge the divides currently running through our Conference. Others are learning to speak the language of principle over power but no one else understands and has the necessary convictions to transform the House. Certainly no other candidate has actually done what Dan has done. And, no candidate running or rumored to run has matched his commitment to conservatism or bottom up governing. That is why I nominated him for Speaker last January and why I endorsed him again last week.
Daniel has a proven track record as Speaker of the Florida House and an excellent record opposing amnesty. He is staunchly pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and a defender of the Constitution. No one in the Conference has raised concerns to merit opposing Daniel or the demonstrated principled leadership at the foundation of his candidacy. To bring the Conference together in support of the cause of conservatism, I hope you will join me in announcing your support for Dan Webster for Speaker so the momentum behind his race will continue to grow. Please let me know if Dan can count on your vote for Speaker.
Dan is a consistent participating Member of our Conservative Opportunity Society and I hope he enjoys the full support of our organization.
Conservative Opportunity Society
Member of Congress
(Additional reporting by Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason City)