GOP House Speaker John Boehner speaking in the House regarding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the Tucson Shooting Incident
Unfair to criticise House Speaker Boehner?
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) turned down an offer by President Barack Obama to travel on Air Force One to Arizona for a memorial service on behalf of the victims of Saturday’s shooting, a decision that has upset some Democrats.
Senior Democrats – who to date had been impressed with Boehner’s response to the Arizona tragedy – expressed surprise at what they saw as an unmistakable misstep by the new speaker: appearing at a partisan political event on the same night as the the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Arizona congressional delegation come together at the memorial service for the victims of an attack that nearly took the life of a member of the House. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was critically wounded in Saturday’s attack, while six other people died and a dozen more were wounded.
“It is disrespectful for Speaker Boehner to skip joining the President’s and bipartisan congressional delegation to the Tucson Memorial so he could host a Washington D.C. cocktail party for RNC members,” said a Democratic leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity
And, Boehner would have been criticised if he had gone – probably by the same Democrat operatives.
The Maria Cino RNC event was planned anyway and Speaker Boehner could not have made Air Force One, the flight and attend the Capitol Prayer Service.
The Boehner staffers also insisted that, as speaker, Boehner’s place is on Capitol Hill, not in Tucson. They noted that Boehner had opened an hours-long tribute on the House floor Wednesday to Giffords and the other shooting victims and attended a bipartisan prayer service afterward. Because Air Force One left at 1 p.m., Boehner couldn’t have flown to Arizona and also attended the Capitol prayer service.
But, nice try by the Democrats to paint Boehner as an unfeeling MORON who intentionally disrespects the President and slights the Tucson shooting victims, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Maria Cino
Republican House Speaker is upping the ante in the Republican National Committee Chairmanship race.
“House Speaker John Boehner will hold a reception Wednesday night for RNC members, further putting his weight behind the candidacy of Maria Cino. The invitation, sent to RNC members Tuesday and obtained by POLITICO, doesn’t mention Cino’s name. But a backer of the longtime operative and party chair hopeful confirmed that she’ll be there with the speaker. Boehner has already called RNC members on Cino’s behalf, and the reception offers him one final case to make his preference clear before the committee votes Friday on the chairman’s race. ‘Speaker John Boehner cordially invites Members of the Republican National Committee to a Cocktail Reception,’ reads the invitation for the event, held at the suburban Washington hotel where the committee is meeting. It was sent to RNC members by Julie Wadler, a prominent GOP fundraising consultant who is friends with Cino and close to many House members. Boehner’s Chief of Staff, Barry Jackson, is a major Cino booster and is widely seen as the force behind the speaker’s efforts on her behalf.” Cino has 12 votes in POLITICO’s tally of RNC commitments, versus 40 for Reince Priebus, 24 for Michael Steele, 15 for Saul Anuzis and 14 for Ann Wagner.
Behind in the count so far, Cino may very well be a compromise conservative candidate (that is not Michael Steele) which the RNC members might be willing to support after several deadlocked ballots.
Maria Cino most recently served as Deputy Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. In this capacity, she was the RNC’s top political strategist and chief operating officer, overseeing operations of the Committee during the 2004 election cycle. During the 2000 cycle, Cino served as the Committee’s Deputy Chairman for Political and Congressional Relations, while also serving as the National Political Director for the Bush for President campaign in Austin, Texas.
I will try to post up pre-debate interviews for all of the candidates.