Johnson: ‘We Don’t Take Anything for Granted, but We’re Feeling Very, Very Bullish about November’

It was a glitzy, star-studded affair in Los Angeles, but even Hollywood may have trouble writing a new ending for Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. Leaning on big names like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack Black, and his old boss Barack Obama, the president raked in more than $30 million dollars Saturday night — a big haul, but not big enough, many believe, to help him crawl out of the basement of his historically low approval ratings. In his sit-down with Jimmy Kimmel, Biden told the crowd, “All we gotta do is remember what it was like” when Donald Trump was in the White House. His biggest problem is that most voters do. Fondly.

Biden reminded the audience how much “is at stake in this election,” an understatement most would say, before proceeding to rewrite the history of his last three years. “We have the strongest economy in the world today,” he claimed, adding, “we try to give ordinary people an even chance.” Of course, those “ordinary people” can’t even afford fast food these days, thanks to inflation that’s spiked the prices of everything from a Happy Meal to a five-layer burrito more than 150% since the former vice president took office.

The 45th president, meanwhile, was touring Michigan, promising to slash taxes and help struggling families — a theme Trump reiterated on the Hill last week in his meetings with both sides of the Capitol. It’s part of what’s contributing to this feeling of “energy and excitement,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins during Saturday’s “This Week on the Hill.”

“I am convinced — and I think a rising number of people in the country are convinced, including pollsters now — that the 45th president will be the 47th president in just under 140 days now,” Johnson insisted. “We did a press conference right after he had breakfast with us this week, and we had every House Republican there. And it really was like a pep rally. There’s a good feeling going around. We don’t take anything for granted, but we’re feeling very, very bullish about November.”

Of course, the GOP is trying not to get too ahead of itself. “We don’t take it for granted,” the speaker wanted people to know. “So we have to run like we’re 10 points behind, as you do in any campaign. But we’re looking at polling that is very encouraging, [and] that polling is now affirming what we know intuitively.” In his trips around the country, going to campaign events for his Republican members, Johnson says the atmosphere is electric. “There’s just a real feeling out there that something is happening. And President Trump used that very phrase when he spoke to us this week. He said, ‘Something’s happening out there.’”

In the data he’s looked at, Johnson believes there’s a very strong chance that Republicans can grow their House majority, retake the Senate, and reelect Trump. “So what we talked about [with the former president] was the strategy on how to do that, how to achieve that desired end. And then when we do win, what we’re going to do when we govern. We’ve got to be prepared to lead, we have to have a very specific plan and strategy, a very aggressive first 100 days agenda when the new Congress and the new administration begins in January. And we’re taking the appropriate steps right now to prepare for that. President Trump is deeply involved in all of that discussion.”

If anything concerns him, Johnson said, it’s election integrity and security. And he’s not alone. “Wherever I go in the country, the first or second question always in every public forum is: Can we trust the election? And that’s a really searing question. In a constitutional republic, you want people to assume that they can trust the election. … And because of recent events in the last few election cycles, people have reason to doubt that.”

His goal is for conservatives to be “ambassadors of hope” and to encourage people that “massive improvements have been made.” As Perkins pointed out, almost two dozen states have addressed these problems legislatively between 2020 and 2024. Even so, he insisted, “vigilance is required.”

Exactly, the speaker nodded. “We’ve got to ensure, for example, that illegals — the millions and millions of illegal aliens who’ve come into the country under Joe Biden’s administration in the last three and a half years — are not going to participate in the federal election in November. You know, it is a matter of federal law, statutory law that only U.S. citizens can decide U.S. elections. But we know that illegals are being registered to vote in various places around the country, so we have legislation we’re moving through Congress to ensure that doesn’t happen, but we need everyone at the local and state level to be on guard to ensure that there’s no voter fraud…”

But, as Johnson explained, the Republican Governors Association “is dialed into this,” along with the secretaries of state around the country, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and the National Republican Congressional Committee. “All of our organizations are spending a lot of time and resources on that.”

As if to emphasize his point, RNC Co-Chair Lara Trump announced over the weekend that the GOP’s worked to raise “a veritable army” of “over 100,000 poll watchers and over 500 lawyers to deploy” at election stations all across the country. “I believe if we have a free, fair and transparent election that there’s no question we’ll all be going to bed early on November 5,” the former president’s daughter-in-law insisted.

At the end of the day, Perkins explained, it’s “an election of contrasts between the two parties.” When he asked Johnson some of the areas where the two parties’ differences are most pronounced, the speaker replied, “Well, all of them really.” That’s why House and Senate conservatives are working together to put together a cohesive strategy for 2025, he says. When Republicans win, “We want to be positioned well to solve all the great challenges facing the country. We have the answers for those things, and we’ll do it in the order that the American people demand and deserve.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


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