Thrilled but cautiously optimistic best describes a number of Texas grassroots leaders’ reactions to Speaker of the House John Boehner announcing his resignation today. A few of them around the state shared their initial thoughts with Breitbart Texas.
Dallas-based Ken Emanuelson with the Grassroots Texans Network is cautiously optimistic. He told Breitbart Texas, “I’ve wanted Boehner to go for a long time. He’s been very much part of the problem. I say ‘cautiously optimistic’ because if we replace Boehner with ‘Boehner with a different name’ that’s no improvement. If Kevin McCarthy steps up, is he an improvement on Boehner? I don’t know. I’m not sure that he would be. Some people think he could be worse.”
California Republican McCarthy is a longtime prospect for the Speaker’s role.
“It’s time for Boehner to go and I am certainly glad to see him go but we’re going to have to be very careful with moving forward who takes that spot. Boehner’s time at the helm is a perfect illustration of how important that is.”
Another grassroots leader to remain cautiously optimistic is Julie McCarty, President of the NE Tarrant Tea Party, one of the largest and most powerful Tea Party groups in the state. She told Breitbart Texas, “It made my day. I am cautiously optimistic, though. Who are they going to replace him with? I had no expectation that he would actually do the right thing and resign.”
She half-quipped, “I thought he would have to be forced out.” McCarty suspected that Boehner felt the growing behind-the-scenes push to move him out. “I think Boehner must have known that and stepped down rather than get fired.”
Prominent conservative voice, Katrina Pierson, Garland Tea Party founder and political analyst, told Breitbart Texas, “Conservatives can definitely take a victory lap today. We now have an opportunity to select leadership that accurately reflects the Republican Party.”
Recently, Pierson introduced Donald Trump to 20,000 people during his GOP nomination bid stopover in Dallas. She expressed an interest in seeing Mark Meadows (R-NC), who led the effort to unseat Boehner from the House Speaker chair, or Jim Jordan (R-OH) step up to the plate, saying “either would be a huge turn around.”
Pierson added, “Imagine Speaker of the House representing the will of the people.”
Grassroots America Executive Director JoAnn Fleming told Breitbart Texas about Boehner’s resignation, “It’s about time. John Boehner has done more to undermine the Republican Party, he and Mitch McConnell, than anybody I can remember in recent history.”
Fleming, a longtime conservative activist, lumped McConnell into much of her criticism of Boehner. She noted how both of them have “so broken their promises to the American people who came out in droves and in landslide victories across this nation to put Republicans in office.”
Fleming continued, “All of the hand-wringing over the fact that these ‘outsiders’ are predominant in the Republican Party presidential primary can be laid at the feet of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell because they and the other leadership created a Donald Trump-sized vacuum.”
Fleming believes that many of Trump’s supporters are “doing so because they are mad at Republican leadership.” She slipped in that “if Mitch McConnell loved his country he would resign too.”
Like Pierson, Fleming is impressed with North Carolina Rep. Meadows, who she called courageous for initiating the campaign to remove Boehner from the House chair.
“I’ve been activist in the Republican Party ranks going on 24-25 years and frankly, I am fed up with the promises.” She underscored that with leadership ‘it’s always ‘after this election, it’ll be time to do X. After this next election, it’ll be time to do Y.’”
Fleming says it is time for a fighter in leadership “to see this country put back right,” adding “someone with the knowledge and the skills and the love of country as Ted Cruz.”
“I want somebody in there that will say ‘we can’ — we can do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.”
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.