Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GOP backs off claim that Pelosi’s ‘partisan’ speech made them vote against the bailout.

Yesterday, after the proposed bipartisan bailout package failed to pass, the House Republican leadership cried their eye's out that House Speaker Nancy Pelosis had hurt their feelings in a press conference. One after another we saw Republican after Repuglican cry that Nancy Pelosi was to blame for GOP opposition to the bill.

I guess today after being ridiculed by Democrats, media observers, and even some conservatives, those cry baby Republicans are now walking back that claim:

– Rep. Michele Bachmann: “We are not babies who suck their thumbs.”

– Minority Whip Roy Blunt: “I think you don’t want to give too much blame to that speech.”

– Rep. John Shadegg: “It was embarrassing for leadership on both parties to lose the bill, so they went out and made a stupid claim.”

– Rep. Marsha Blackburn: “That speech was not the reason I voted against the bill.”

– Rep. Mike Conaway said that Pelosi's speech "didn’t" have any effect on his vote and that he "didn't" know of any lawmakers who turned against the bill because of the speech.

So now that House Republicans are insisting their vote against the bailout yesterday had nothing to do with Pelosi’s supposedly “partisan” speech, you might wonder why at least 10 Republican Representatives flipped their votes. Minority Whip Blunt really thought he had these votes for the bill, right up until they voted no.

Now NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is reporting that conservatives may have been taking their marching orders from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who “was whipping against this up until the last minute” — despite the fact that he issued a statement supporting the bill as the vote was about to take place:
MITCHELL: I’m told reliably by leading Republicans who are close to him, he was whipping against this up until the last minute when he issued that face-saving statement. Newt Gingrich was telling people in the strongest possible language
that this was a terrible deal, not only that it was a terrible deal, that it was a disaster, it was the end of democracy as we know it, it was socialism. And then at the last minute comes out with a statement when the vote is already in place.
Could Newt Gingrich have recognized that there is no real leadership in the Republican Party? Could he be situating himself so he can be seen as the God Father of the Republicans? It will be interesting to watch.

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