PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- There are a lot of differences between the three Republicans running for U.S. House here in the 13th district. But on at least one point, they are aligned: None will commit to voting for another term for John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) as speaker of the House.
In interviews, each of the GOP candidates for the seat long held by late Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R) refused to say whether they would vote for or against the Republican leader.
"I think it's premature. I'm not a member of Congress," said David Jolly (R), a former lobbyist and aide to Young. "I can tell you this: I have enormous respect for the job that John Bohener's done. He's had an incredibly difficult job."
State Rep. Kathleen Peters (R) said that while she is "impressed" with Boehner's staff, she "cannot commit a vote to anyone until I get to know them and their leadership a little bit better."
Retired Marine Corps Brigadier General Mark Bircher, who is backed by former congressman Allen West (R-Fla.), said he needs to learn more about Boehner and that it's "too hypothetical" for him to decide at this point.
"I'm too ignorant on that question right now," he said.
Interesting development here.
In 2010, with the "TEA party revolution," even most TEA Party Republicans were committed to Boehner as speaker. In that year, Democrats were running away from Pelosi. In my district in Florida, the Democrat was even open to supporting a Republican Speaker if Pelosi was the only Demcrat choice.
This year, even establishment candidates like Jolly are running away from Boehner.