Rob Bishop 01

GOP U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop is leaving the House at the end of this year, and Tuesday he came to Capitol Hill to address his Republican colleagues -- and to pledge to them that he will never “badmouth” them.

That’s worth a standing ovation, which he got from an open GOP House caucus.

Bishop served in the Utah House many moons ago, and was speaker for a few years, as well.

As such, he said, he knows how hard legislators work, and how well the state has been managed under the Republicans’ majority tenure (going on 50 years now).

“I know the process” the Utah Legislature follows in making new law and policy, said Bishop.

“You do a great job. I’m proud of you. I have empathy for you. You are marvelous.”

Nice words to hear for the GOP caucus, who has been lambasted the last several months for first passing a massive tax reform package, then repealing it on the second day of this 45-day general session in the face of a likely-successful reform recall referendum.

Bishop, who was asked by GOP House leaders to only talk about his congressional experiences, may be seeing a lot more of the legislators -- something he hinted at several times.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Thomas Wright has named Bishop as his lieutenant governor running mate -- and doing so very early in this election year.

Wright has said should the Wright/Bishop ticket win, then Bishop -- the old speaker -- will be put in charge of liaising with the Legislature and taking on public land issues -- something Bishop championed when he was chairman of the U.S. House’s Natural Resources Committee before Republicans lost the majority in the 2018 mid-term elections.