He worked with Trump on the matter. And the former president has embraced him in return. On Wednesday, Trump triumphantly called the new speaker “MAGA MIKE JOHNSON!” in a social media post.
Though No Labels has tried to situate itself as a bipartisan, common sense alternative to both parties, Democrats have raised concerns the group’s planned third-party bid will hurt Biden’s reelection efforts. No Labels maintains that its mission appeals to both parties. It has cited Trump’s electoral claims, and specifically his attempt “to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power after he lost the 2020 election” as one of the central reasons it opposes him.
On Wednesday’s call, Fitzpatrick said, “We stand by the fact that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president of the United States.” He acknowledged that there were “some irregularities” in some states but not to the extent Trump claimed. “It didn’t change the outcome of the election,” he said.
“We disagree with Mike on that,” Fitzpatrick continued. “And I’m not sure Mike would do the same thing today.”
Biden, for his part, dismissed concerns that Johnson would overturn 2024 election results as speaker. “Just like I was not worried that the last guy would be able to overturn the election,” Biden said in a press conference on Wednesday.
On the No Labels call, during which only Republican lawmakers spoke, members tried to paint Johnson as someone who did not represent the right wing of the party. “He’s not even a member of the Freedom Caucus,” Fitzpatrick said, referring to the ultra-conservative group of lawmakers.
Instead, Fitzpatrick pointed out, Johnson chaired the Republican Study Committee.
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), another member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, described Johnson as having “a very humble spirit” and being “approachable and “upbeat” and a man of “decency.”
“He provided a vision. And I think leadership starts with a vision right? He gave a vision that was not as hyper-partisan,” said Bacon.