Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday morning he might become a candidate for speaker and sharply criticized the performance of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, his successor as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“The fact is, yes, I think that I could potentially be a candidate,” the California Republican said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “At the same time, I agree with the vast majority of members, I think. We need a Paul Ryan or we need somebody who is A. experienced, B. has been a committee chairman or something other than just up through the leadership ranks.”
Issa is one of the better known House Republicans, given his many media appearances and investigations into the President Barack Obama’s administration, especially when he held the Oversight gavel.
He talked about fighting for the conservative fiscal changes newer members want.
“We very definitely need to pick our fights carefully, but we need somebody who is willing to do those fights, when the time comes, because the motion of our party has been to the right. … We have been dealing with real problems of leadership telling us to do something because it was popular, rather than doing what the American people asked us to do when they swept us back into the majority when we had lost it for good cause.”
But while Issa likes the idea of a chairman becoming speaker, he doesn’t think Chaffetz is the right guy.
“Jason’s a good man. An honorable man. But he got his job by going to [John A.] Boehner and saying he would shut down that rancor that was going on. That he would ‘go along, get along.’ And he’s done that. He put shining pictures of Utah on the wall and he basically stopped doing it. There hasn’t been a single committee report or staff report published since he’s been chairman.
“The fact is, he’s a good guy, but whatever he was as a freshman, when he was a fighter on our committee, when he was trying to hold government accountable, he took a break from that. And I think that’s going to hurt him. Not whether I get into the race or not. It’s already hurt him. He didn’t have 30 votes going into the race. I don’t think he’s going to get the 240.”
The Utah Republican is one of two declared candidates for speaker, along with Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, but a whole host of names have been floated by lawmakers.
Here’s the video of Issa’s appearance:
See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.