At Politico, Speaker Mike Johnson spoke with Ryan Lizza and Rachel Bade:

The person on the other side of the aisle is not an enemy. They’re a fellow American. Our enemies are like Hamas and Hezbollah and the people who are trying to kill us. These are our political adversaries. The Founders anticipated that you have people with very different philosophical ideas, very different principles and ideas about government, but we would come here, sit around a table and arm wrestle together and kind of get to a point of consensus so that we can govern the country. This system doesn’t work unless you understand the principles that undergird it. And I think restoring those principles is really important for this institution to endure.

Hakeem is a good man. We’ve worked well together. We have a lot more in common than people might think. You know, he’s from New York and I’m from Louisiana. While we have lots of disagreements on policies and the fine points of policy, I think you can appreciate people for who they are as a person. I think that’s what we’re called to do. And he and I both kind of share the worldview on that. I can appreciate that he’s a good family man. We have a lot in common in that regard. And he lost his father recently, I lost mine three days before I got elected to Congress. We’ve talked about that.

We’ve talked about how he and I both came to our leadership positions in a rather circuitous fashion that neither of us predicted or expected, in terms of timing and how we would be elevated as we were. He’s been here a little bit longer than I have been. But, there are things that we have in common.

And I think what we’ve appreciated about one another is that I believe that when Hakeem Jeffries is telling me something, I believe he’s telling me the truth. I believe he is a man of his word. And I think he believes that about me as well. That’s a big thing in Washington. You know, trust is a rare commodity around here.


While we don’t agree on many things, it’s really refreshing to sit across the table from someone who is your political adversary and know that they’re shooting straight. I wish that we could have a lot more of that around here because it would solve a lot of problems. Look, I’m a Reagan Republican. I love the way he did the job. He was a happy warrior, you know?


He was a hero to all of us. I think to all Republicans, he’s still the standard-bearer. And the reason is because of the way he did the job. He’s very principled. But he didn’t hate anybody, right?