The reaction to Rep. Mike Johnson’s appointment as House speaker has been extremely divided save for one constant: deep-rooted anger.
For those on the right, the anger stems from remarks Johnson made during an interview with “Amanpour & Company” in the days right after Minneapolis criminal George Floyd’s death in mid-2020.
During the interview, he claimed that Floyd was “murdered,” that his adopted black son has a harder life than his white son because of the color of his skin, and that so-called systemic racism exists and needs to be addressed.
Full clip of the new GOP speaker saying that George Floyd was murdered and we need systemic changes to fix the racism in our country pic.twitter.com/vup6jX69KL
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 25, 2023
Struggling to see why we had to kick out the last guy for this guy. It’s the exact same guy pretty much.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 25, 2023
Asked about Floyd’s death, he said, “I was outraged. I don’t think anyone can view the video and objectively come to any other conclusion but that it was an act of murder. And I felt that initially, as everyone did and it’s so disturbing.”
“And, you know, the underlying issues beneath that are something that the country is now struggling with. And I think it’s something we have to look at very soberly and with a lot of empathy. And I’m glad to see that’s happening around the country,” he continued.
Later during the interview, he began talking about his sons — one of them a black adopted boy, and the other his natural son.
“You know, what it’s taught me is we now have four other children of our own. And my oldest son, Jack, ironically, this year is 14. And I’ve thought often through all these ordeals over the last couple of weeks about the difference in the experiences between my two 14-year-old sons, Michael being a black American and Jack being white Caucasian. They have different challenges. My son Jack has an easier path. He just does,” he said.
“The interesting thing about both of these kids, Michael and Jack, is they’re both handsome, articulate, really talented kids, gifted by God to do lots of things. But the reality is and no one can tell me otherwise, my son Michael had a harder time than my son Jack is going to have simply because of the color of his skin. And that’s a reality. It’s an uncomfortable, painful one to acknowledge, but people have to recognize that’s a fact,” he added.
Johnson also posted the following tweet after Floyd’s death:
George Floyd appears to have been the victim of murder. A close review of the video can lead one to no other conclusion, and the tragedy has focused a spotlight once again on the plight of millions of black men in America. It is real, heartbreaking, and it must be addressed. 1/7
— Rep. Mike Johnson (@RepMikeJohnson) May 30, 2020
To be fair, the interview was conducted and the tweet posted right after Floyd died, when virtually everybody thought he’d been murdered by the police. Years later, that narrative is now in question due to reports suggesting Floyd may have died of an overdose.
And indeed, many were quick to point this out to Matt Walsh and other right-wing commenters who were rightly bothered by Johnson’s remarks.
In all fairness, we all assumed the same thing in the beginning.
— God bless the USA! (@re88465915) October 26, 2023
But this was way back then! I thought he was murdered back then!
A lot of people were caught up in the BLM movement.
— Jordan (@jorjorward) October 25, 2023
In 2020, when no one knew he was high on enough fentanyl to kill a horse.
— JD Sharp (@imjdsharp) October 25, 2023
Betcha this interview was before the actual autopsy results and other information recently came out. (At least I hope.)
— FuryanEnergy (@ranbarn54) October 25, 2023
Date on the clip? Come on Matt. This is outrage bait. Did you even do basic due diligence to discover if he still holds these views? I’m guessing not.
— Brently (@kopopoulous) October 26, 2023
Over on the left meanwhile, anger is brewing because Johnson is too right-wing for the likes of House Minority Speaker Leader Hakeem Jeffries and crew.
“I don’t know Mike Johnson well. Based on his track record, he appears to be an extreme right-wing ideologue,” Jeffries said Wednesday on CNN.
“Mike Johnson wants to criminalize abortion care and impose a nationwide ban. Mike Johnson was one of the chief architects of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Mike Johnson also wants to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. Those are extreme views, and House Democrats will push back aggressively against that,” he added.
Leader Jeffries: “Mike Johnson was one of the chief architects of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Mike Johnson also wants to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it.” pic.twitter.com/M3Jwf9sRDt
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) October 25, 2023
Ironically, Jeffries’ attack on Johnson made the new speaker’s critics feel a lot better about him having been elected into the position.
Good!! Love Mike Johnson even more!;
— The MLA (@KoolMLA) October 25, 2023
That means we made a good choice.
— The Blare (@drrevsketch) October 25, 2023
If Jeffries and Schiff dislike him, that means he’s great for the country!
— IMPEACH FAUX46/AMERICAFIRST /Veteran/John 3:16 (@SillySaltyAFVet) October 25, 2023
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