Leadership Challenge? GOP Rep.: ‘Premature’ to Commit to Supporting Boehner

By Maya

Sep 30, 2010 1:31pm

ABC News' Rick Klein reports: As Democrats ramp up their attacks on House Minority Leader John Boehner – who’s presumed to be in line to become House speaker if Republicans take over the majority – not all rank-and-file Republicans are ready to commit to supporting Boehner as speaker. On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said it would be “premature” for members of his caucus to line up behind Boehner, R-Ohio, particularly when there’s likely to be so many new Republicans coming to Congress. “There's going to be an election here in just a little over a month’s time. Who knows what is going to happen, but there may be an enormous number of new members on my side, in my conference,” Burgess said. “Let's see what happens. Right now I'll commit for voting for a conservative speaker of the house. I'm going to try to pick the most conservative candidate that's out there, and we'll see what happens.”     Asked if that means he won’t guarantee his vote will be for Boehner next year, Burgess responded: “There's no vacancy right now. We have an election to get through. Let's see what happens. I think it's premature for people to lock themselves down to one direction or another,” Burgess said. “Sure, John Boehner has the inside track. He's done what no one thought was possible, which is bring us back on the verge of perhaps winning the majority back in the House of Representatives. That's a pretty big deal. But again, you may have 60 or 65 brand new faces over here on the Republican side. I don’t think it's fair to lock us into to just about anything right now. Let's have the election and see what happens.” Burgess has never been a particularly close ally of Boehner’s. After Republicans lost ground in the 2008 elections, Burgess ran for a leadership post – chairman of the Republican Policy Committee – while Boehner stuck with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., who ultimately kept his post. A serious leadership challenge against Boehner remains unlikely – and is less likely to succeed. One potential challenger, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, has ruled out a run against Boehner, and Burgess declined to speculate on possible challengers to Boehner’s leadership. Burgess also blasted Democrats for adjourning to campaign with serious business left undone. “As a consequence, people are going into this last month of the election season with a lot of legitimate questions of the ability of the Democratic leadership to actually be able to govern and lead the country,” he said. Watch the full interview with Rep. Michael Burgess HERE. Also on “Top Line” today, we checked in with Kara Rowland of the Washington Times on President Obama’s campaign efforts, plus Republican messaging in the final month before the election. Watch that segment of the program HERE.

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