Two Oklahomans Being Tossed Around For Speaker Of The House

Tuesday, October 13th 2015, 6:08 pm

With John Boehner stepping down as Speaker of the House, two Oklahomans are now being tossed around to fill his spot.

Current Congressman Tom Cole and former Congressman and OU Quarterback JC Watts are among the names circulating in Washington D.C.

Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma’s 4th district, surfaced early as a candidate. But when pressed last week on MSNBC, he maintained Paul Ryan was the best man for the job. And when asked he said he wouldn’t rule out anything right now. 

“But I know I’m not the best choice and I know who the best choice is.”

Now, within last few days, Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts has also been mentioned as a prospect.

“It would be almost like your mother calling you and saying they would like you to serve,” he said Tuesday. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen and I don’t think there’s any wisdom in doing that.”

Even though House rules say you don't need to be a sitting member of Congress to become Speaker, Watts says bringing in someone outside would be a bad idea.

“Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, J.C. Watts, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, They’re not elected members of Congress and they don’t have a vote. It needs to be a member that has a vote.”

Carl Albert was the last Oklahoman to serve as Speaker of the House back in the 1970's. Michael Crespin, the Associate Director of the Carl Albert's Center says he would be surprised if Watts got the job. But Cole may be a contender.

“I think enough people might be able to agree to him as Speaker although I think it’s unclear for the far right if he will challenge Obama enough, if he will shut down the Government in order to give the far right what they want.”