Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Senators Cornyn & Thune on Earmarks

If these two represent the GOP's best and brightest, we may be in even more trouble than I thought. Apparently, both of these distinguished gentlemen were for earmarks before they were against them.

Jamie Dupree reports from a press conference on the omnibus spending bill (you know the one everybody on the right is up in arms about):
But if advisers to the Senators thought the opening statements of Cornyn and Thune would set the theme for this news conference, they were wrong, because the fine print of the Omnibus showed many Republican Senators at the pork barrel trough as well.

My review found 45 earmarks for Cornyn and another 26 for Thune. Those examples didn't get ignored by reporters.

"The bill contains many earmarks that you requested," said one reporter, starting the Q&A.

"Pardon me?" said Cornyn.

"I intend to vote against those earmarks because the American people sent a message on November 2nd," said the Texas Republican.

"Senator Thune, I was just looking at the list of earmark requests that you requested this year and it adds up to over a hundred million dollars," said another reporter, asking the South Dakota Republican - who has been talked about as a Presidential hopeful - if he would strike those earmarks.

"I support those projects, but I don't support this bill," Thune answered.

Time for another question.

"Going through this bill, there is earmark after earmark from the both of you, millions of dollars in earmarks," asked another scribe with a jab.

"Why do you have any credibility on this?"

"Because we're going to vote against the bill," answered Cornyn.

"It appears like you're saying one thing and doing another," another reporter pressed.
Cornyn was on Fox News (it gets good at about 3:00) and had to defend his earmarks. I don't think it could be said he acquitted himself well. From what I could tell his defense amounted to the fact that he was going to vote against the bill, so it didn't really matter that he had requested millions in earmarks.

I don't know about you, but I'm not convinced.

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