You Call This Republican ‘Leadership’?

Mike Johnson, the man with no bank account

Let’s just dive right in.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson appeared to answer some questions from host Shannon Bream after what we assume was a nice Moe’s Tavern crank call routine.

The Simpsons: Bart's Most Hilarious and Epic Prank Calls to Moe's Tavern,  Revealed!

Moe: Hey! Has anyone seen Mike Johnson? Look around. I’m looking for Mike Johnson. Can anyone help me find Mike Johnson?!

Johnson began the interview on a high note as he was asked about the House’s Israel aid bill, which is tied to cuts to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. This was opposed by both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Johnson’s response could only be described as disingenuously and self-satisfyingly smug.

JOHNSON: Shannon, it’s really surprising to hear Senator Schumer say that it’s not a serious proposal. It’s actually what was requested, $14.5 billion. […] Apparently, Senator Schumer disagrees with that. But I’ll take that debate to the American people all day long.

Bream then pointed out that opposition of the bill is based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finding that the bill will actually add billions to the deficit. Johnson feigned obtuseness and responded with bullshit he thinks his constituents are too stupid to parse.

JOHNSON: Look, only in Washington can you cut funding, add a pay-for to a new spending measure, and they say it’s terrible for the deficit. […]

What made this interview unique was the way Bream seemed be trying to NOT stump Johnson, only for him to later somehow squirm and dodge anyway.

One example is Johnson’s cautious and nervous response when Bream brings up his congressional record on reproductive rights.

Credit: Fox News Sunday, 11/5/2023

Bream pushed back slightly on these, primarily fertility and contraception, and Johnson went from selective amnesia to sudden support.

BREAM: To be clear, though, have you voted against fertility treatments and access to contraception? Would you?

JOHNSON: I don’t — I don’t think so. I’m not sure what they’re talking about. I really don’t remember any of those measures.

BREAM: But do you oppose anything …

JOHNSON: I am personally pro-life, yeah. No, no, of course not. No, that — that’s something that’s blessed a lot of families who have problems with fertility, of course, that’s a great thing. I would support that. […]

After dodging more questions about his clearly creepy religious fundamentalism/extremism, Johnson was asked about his financial disclosures or lack thereof. Again, he was lobbed the softest of softballs only to dodge it in a very suspicious way.

BREAM: […] Vanity Fair says this, “What’s up with Mike Johnson’s very shady seeming financial disclosures?” They say, you’ve never reported a bank account or an assets on a financial disclosure form going back to 2016. Can you clear that up for us?

JOHNSON: Yes, look, I’m a man of modest means. OK. I was a lawyer, but I did constitutional law. And most of my career has been in the non-profit sector. […]

Working for a non-profit doesn’t mean you don’t get paid, Mike. That’s not what non-profit means.

JOHNSON: […] We have four kids, five now that are very active. And I have kids in graduate school, law school, undergraduate. We have a lot of expenses. […]

Right! That’s why people are asking where all the money is that’s clearly needed for food, clothing, paying for graduate schools, law school, etc.

JOHNSON: […] But I can relate to everybody else. My father was a firefighter, right? I didn’t grow up with great means. But I think that helps us be a better leader because we can relate to every hard work in American family. […]

Bream ended the interview by doing a bit of the ole’ Fox News whitewash.

BREAM: Well, majority of Americans now say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, so a lot of folks in the same boat as they try to figure out this economy. […]

Hardworking families have income, even modest ones. Checking or saving accounts are not out of the ordinary. Even people who don’t have bank accounts, like those who fall prey to check cashing/pay day lending, still have records of the income they receive from their employer. Johnson has been in Congress since 2016, now making an average salary of $223,500 a year as speaker. That’s about $176k to $81k more than average middle class households that actually live “paycheck to paycheck.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos found House Minority Leader Steve Scalise trying to cite the CBO against President Biden … only to find himself in a logic paradox.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me — let me just stop, let me just stop you right there.

You say you addressed the debt, in fact, and you’re the one who referenced the CBO. The CBO said that this proposal you put on the floor that you passed the House is actually going to increase the deficit, not reduce the debt.

SCALISE: Well, only CBO would say reducing the size of government —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you just cited the CBO. I mean, that’s their analysis. It’s going to reduce it because you’re taking away enforcement.

SCALISE: Right, but the CBO said — but the CBO said it’s going to actually hit people making under $400,000 a year with $4 billion in new taxes. […]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman, I’m confused. You cite the CBO … approvingly when they agree with the proposal you … when they agree with your conclusions, and you dismiss them when they disagree?

But when Stephanopoulos asked about Scalise and 2020 election denialism, he found himself at wit’s end by the end of the exchange.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know that every single — I know that every court that looked at whether the election was stolen said it wasn’t, rejected those claims. And I asked you a very, very simple question. Now I’ve asked it, I think, the fifth time that you can’t appear to answer. Can you say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen?

He never answers that because, again, there’s no “good/sane Republicans.”

Have a week.


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Genard Musay

Genard is a reporter who reports on the biggest breaking news stories of the day as well as doing investigations and original stories

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