The Corner

How Griffith Switched

The “Griffith Switch” is today’s big news in Washington. How did it happen? To get a more granular sense of why Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith decided to jump from the Pelosi ship, NRO spokes with numerous House aides. Here’s what we learned.

– Griffith approached his close friend in the House, Rep. Jo Bonner (R., Ala.), months ago, confidentially, about his concerns. Week after week, Griffith relayed his growing dismay with the House Democratic leadership and its agenda.

– Eventually, as Griffith’s complaints grew, Bonner asked if he could reach out to House Republican Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio). A key moment, one aide says, came this fall when Griffith was one of the first Democrats to sign onto the Walden-Baird “read the bill” petition, bucking Pelosi.

– Boehner reached out to Griffith a couple weeks ago. They met secretly in Boehner’s office on Wednesday, December 16th to discuss the possibility of a party switch. A few days later, on Sunday, December 20th, Griffith called Boehner with his decision to jump across the aisle.

– No deals were struck, at least according to House Republican aides, other than assurances that Griffith would be welcomed into the GOP conference as a Republican with full standing.

Robert Costa was formerly the Washington editor for National Review.

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