The Daily Beast attacked Speaker Mike Johnson in a story Wednesday over the Louisiana Republican’s boringly normal financial situation.
According to the news outlet, Johnson manages a “extraordinarily precarious” financial situation. That’s because his financial disclosure forms show that he and his wife do not own bank accounts stashed with cash; they hold no investments in the stock market, have no retirement accounts, and have taken on considerable debt in the form of a mortgage, a home equity loan, and a personal loan.
The Daily Beast used Johnson’s situation to make three attacks:
- That Johnson is bad with money and thus not a fiscal conservative.
- That Johnson is “ripe for influence buying,” according to the left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.
- That Johnson “plans to use his congressional position as a springboard to something more lucrative once he’s done in government.”
The story gained viral attention on Wednesday after Matt Fuller, Washington bureau chief of the Daily Beast, posted the story to social media.
“Mike Johnson doesn’t have any retirement savings, own a single stock, or have any assets at all. He has less than $5,000 in his bank account. He’s got a 250-500K mortgage, a home equity loan, and a personal loan. So what’s his retirement plan? To lobby?” Fuller suggestively wrote.
Reaction to the Daily Beast’s story included:
- “So, to extent accurate, he’s like a lot of Americans right now while also navigating raising a large family? What a monster,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) mocked.
- “So the Daily Beast wants people to be mad that Speaker Johnson isn’t corrupt and hasn’t used his office to enrich himself? This is how out of touch these guys are,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) reacted.
- “Thank you for the gleaming endorsement for @SpeakerJohnson. The left sees these as negatives, but I see them as a man not corrupted or bought,” Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) pointed out.
- “I guess the DC swamp would prefer someone like @SpeakerPelosi or @JoeBiden who became extremely rich while in office,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) responded.
- “The D.C. insiders are upset that Speaker Johnson isn’t ultra-rich and corrupt. Maybe they should get out and talk to Real America,” Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) reacted.
- The Daily Beast is furious that @SpeakerJohnson isn’t rich, corrupt or rich from being corrupt. He doesn’t have shady business deals. He doesn’t trade stocks as a congressman. Cry more, I guess?” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) responded.
- “So he’s a normal American instead of a permanent Washington insider trading globalist like most of DC. Got it. I like him even more now,” Blaze TV host Chad Prather said.
- “The fact that Johnson did not, like countless other Congressmen, suddenly tap into new streams of wealth after he won office in 2016 is a mark in FAVOR of his character. Apparently he’s not availing himself of the insider advantages others are quick to exploit,” reporter Megan Basham pointed out.
- “Perhaps questioning how some members of congress have become multi millionaires while in office should be more of a priority for you?” actor Matthew Marsden noted.
- “Is it strange that Mike Johnson, who has raised 4 children, has a mortgage and $5k in his bank account… Or is it actually strange that so many other members of Congress are multimillionaires when their salary is $170k per year?” Blaze TV host Lauren Chen questioned.
It turns out that people aren’t angry the new House speaker is, at least financially speaking, like a sizable percentage of Americans: not rich and scraping by on what he does have to provide for his family.