It's John Boehner, who announced his plans to resign as Speaker of the House on Friday.
Caught by some reporters following his speech at the conservative “Values Voters Summit” in Washington, D.C. today, the South Carolina senator was both hopeful and concerned about the aftermath of Boehner’s decision.
“It’s a fresh start, and what’s the goal here? The goal here is to move the needle,” he said. “I hope we can have a relationship with the new Speaker that will allow us not to shut down the government, keep the conservative agenda alive, and focus on winning in 2016.”
Since assuming leadership of the House in 2011, the Ohio representative has overseen a Congress riddled with constant stalemates, nasty bipartisan clashes and a legislative body that would rather grind to a halt than agree or compromise.
Graham’s central fear is potential collapse within the party that will “hurt our brand even further” and possibly jeopardize the chances of seizing the White House next year.
“The worst possible outcome here is that the Speaker of the House resignation leads to a meltdown of the Republican Party that prevents us from winning in 2016,” Graham said.
He also issued a caution to his colleagues on Capitol Hill.
“I hope that we’ll look at winning the presidency in 2016 and realize ... our actions in the House and the Senate, because we on both bodies could jeopardize that, or actually enhance the ability to win,” said Graham.
Asked about former GOP candidate Scott Walker’s plea for those still running who are doing poorly to drop out, Graham retorted, “I agree, they should all drop out and get behind me!"