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March 18, 2024

Speaker Johnson Speaks Out Against GOP Rivals Attacking One Another in GOP Primaries

House Speaker Mike Johnson urged Republicans to cease their efforts to unseat sitting GOP lawmakers in contentious primaries, aiming to mitigate divisions within the party, according to a report.

Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, made these remarks during an appearance on "Jesse Watters Primetime."

Johnson also asserted that President Biden is "not mentally fit" as the 2024 election approaches, emphasizing that the matter should not be dismissed lightly.

Attending the House Republicans’ annual member retreat at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson sought to unify the often-fractious conference.

His call for unity comes as at least four sitting Republicans in South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, and Virginia face challenges from within their own party.

"I’ve asked them all to cool it," Johnson told CNN during the retreat. "I am vehemently opposed to member-on-member action in primaries because it’s not productive. And it causes division for obvious reasons, and we should not be engaging in that."

Johnson is grappling with guiding his narrow majority through legislative obstacles that divide Republicans, such as providing military aid for Ukraine, finalizing government funding, and reauthorizing a federal surveillance program. Amidst these challenges, he aims to present a compelling case for voters to re-elect a GOP House majority.

"So I’m telling everyone who’s doing that to knock it off," Johnson told the outlet, referring to challenging incumbents within the GOP. "And both sides, they’ll say, ‘Well, we didn’t start it, they started it.’"

Johnson assumed the speaker's gavel late last year following former Speaker Kevin McCarthy's removal from office, a move that left Republicans deeply divided and grappling with dysfunction.

Johnson expressed his intention to remain at the helm of the House GOP next year, regardless of whether the party retains the House majority.

The GOP currently holds a slim majority in the House while Democrats hold a slim lead in the Senate during the key presidential election year.

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