Report: Mike Johnson apologized to Biden for rolling eyes during State of the Union

 April 24, 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson made no secret of his disdain for President Joe Biden's rhetoric during this year's State of the Union address, and was caught rolling his eyes on camera.

Yet according to Real Clear Politics contributor Philip Wegmann, Johnson later apologized for his behavior the next time he and Biden saw each other. 

Johnson toasted Biden at March event

That meeting occurred last month when both men were present for the annual Capitol Hill Friends of Ireland luncheon.

Johnson at one point toasted Biden as "America's most famous Irishman" using a pint glass on which had been borrowed from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Wegmann went on to recount how "Johnson pulled Biden aside to 'apologize for the eye-roll memes that went around the world.'"

The president is said to have reacted to Johnson's comments with a laugh before remarking, "I'm just grateful you didn't rip my speech up."

Some Republicans think Johnson is too friendly with Democrats

That was a reference to how former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a show of tearing up a copy of then-President Donald Trump's speech following his 2020 State of the Union address.

Wegmann reported that for his part, Johnson responded by saying, "Well, Mr. President, don't think my friends back home didn't want me to light it on fire."

That report may further fuel the perception held by some GOP members that Johnson has been too accommodating towards the president.

The most vocal among them is Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who wrote a letter earlier this month arguing that Johnson needs to go as speaker.

Greene says party risks "self-inflicted destruction" under Johnson

In it she complained that "Mike Johnson worked with Chuck Schumer rather than with us, and gave Joe Biden and the Democrats everything they wanted '' when negotiating over a foreign aid bill.

"If these actions by the leader of our conference continue, then we are not a Republican Party — we are a uniparty that is hellbent on remaining on the path of self-inflicted destruction," Greene asserted.

"I will neither support nor take part in any of that, and neither will the people we represent," the conservative lawmaker warned.

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