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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dan Webster: 'I have a problem with the way the House is run'

8

October

Rep. Dan Webster’s interview today on FOX News Channel’s Shepard Smith Reporting.

On the possibility that there aren’t enough votes to get him elected:

“Well, you never know. I think with Kevin out we could branch out and I think there might be an opportunity. I’m going to work as hard as I can to see as many members as I can given the new dynamic, a new group of candidates and we’ll see what happens.  I believe I can win some people over, I do.”

On why he thinks there won’t be a vote on the Speaker position today:

“Well, I haven’t asked that question publically or privately, but I have certainly thought about it and yes, I do have an idea. Well, maybe I’ll just reverse it and say, I think if I had dropped out the election would have gone on. I think the Speaker was shocked, our current shocked. The whole room was. I don’t think he knew it was coming either.”

On what he would do as House Speaker:

“I have a problem with the way the House is run. I believe that a few people at the top of a pyramid of power have controlled this place for a long time. I want to push down the pyramid of power, like I did in Florida, spread out the base so every member has a chance to be effective, take up the most important bills first, not last, and empower the members to pass their own bills. It’s a totally different system. I call it a principle based system rather than a power based system.”

On why the Freedom Caucus chose to support him for the position of House Speaker:

“I’m not a member so I wasn’t privy to all of their discussions. I was only a candidate who went and interviewed. They actually decided that i would be the best candidate. I think they loved the fact that we were going to actually work on doing the most important issues first and they loved the fact that at least they’re going to get a chance. If you push down that pyramid of power and spread out the base, every member gets a chance to file their bill and have it heard and file their amendment and have it heard, as opposed to the system that we have now which closes out, closes down bills, limits debate and so forth. I think that rang true with them what they want is just an opportunity to present their case.”

On his perspective of being in the room when Rep. McCarthy withdrew his name from the race for Speaker:

“I didn’t think it was chaos. I did hear him stand up. At first, he started off like he starts off his speeches when he’s been doing these interviews because I’m either there or following him. And then all of a sudden, a couple of sentences in to it, he withdrew his name. I think people did not hear that part, I heard it, I was shocked.”

On whether he thinks there is a chance for compromise between the Majority and the Freedom Caucus:

“That I could not tell you, but I don’t think the time for compromise has passed. I don’t believe that. I don’t know exactly who that might me, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to bridge that gap. I think I can. I know I did it in Florida. We had no different, a divided conference and different things that were happening and so I believe those things can all work out if we take our time and do them.”

On whether Kevin McCarthy dropping out of the race is serving the party well:

“Having elections is a good thing, having a selection is a good thing, having a candidate drop out right at the last minute is probably not that great. Like I said, I was very shocked that that took place.”

On whether this situation feels like an “internal civil war”:

“No, it doesn’t. I think a lot of people might want to play it that way, but I think we have a good unified group of people when it comes to friendships so it’s not personal. Now if its only issues, if it gets personal, that’s when you have trouble.”

[Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2015 4:51pm]

    

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