UPDATED, 12:40 p.m. EST:
National Republican Senatorial Committee Press Secretary Brook Hougesen responds to PJ Media via email regarding the quote highlighted below. Writes Hougesen:
“We really don’t know what Congressman Gohmert is referring to. The conservative grassroots movement and the tea party brings energy, enthusiasm, and a commitment to defend liberty that is essential in building a Republican Senate majority.”
In describing the mission of his newly created PAC, GOHConservative, during a 20-minute phone interview, Rep. Louie Gohmert offered significant criticism regarding the tactics and behavior of GOP party leadership and current House Speaker John Boehner.
Gohmert gives his PAC a twofold purpose. Primarily, he wishes to defend Tea Party/conservative candidates and elected officials from attacks by party leadership; he speaks of integrity as being his motive. He claims party leadership does not allow those with conservative districts to give their constituents a voice by following through on campaign promises of conservative governing.
Gohmert also offers details of the party’s “pressure” strategy: leadership does not use intimidation, but instead presents a slick appeal to a “team player” camaraderie within the party. Time later reveals that these “team player” sacrifices only ever flood in one direction.
Perhaps most newsworthy, Gohmert offers a troubling anecdote about the party privately instructing GOP donors to close their wallets to certain Tea Party/conservative candidates.
Secondarily, and of note to observers who fault Tea Party tactics, Gohmert wants to support moderate Republicans who govern moderate or liberal districts, as this “keeps the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi.”
Gohmert also takes a quick jab at Karl Rove, head of “GOP establishment” PAC American Crossroads.
Steinberg: In your Daily Caller interview, you mentioned that Boehner’s comments on the GOP causing a government shutdown caused a “depression” within the caucus. That sounds like a possible tipping point for the creation of this PAC — was this already in the works?
Gohmert: It was already in the works. We had set it up, but hadn’t put any real energy behind it yet. But that, yes, that clearly was a sign that we have got to move forward.
But there have been a lot of things along the way. Leadership would favor some folks with money from our party treasury and not others. You were told “you’ve got to be a team player, you’re not enough of a team player.” We understand if a GOP congressman represents a very moderate district, we love the fact that they help us keep the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi, we appreciate that. But our leadership doesn’t appreciate that some of us have conservative districts, but are told we can’t represent our district with a certain vote — we need to vote with moderates or even to the left of moderate, because that’s what we negotiated.
And we have people that are not good at negotiating.
So it’s been a difficult time, being in the majority and not utilizing the powers that the Founders gave us. Yes, we only have one half of the legislative branch, but the Constitution doesn’t allow anyone to get a dime from the federal government unless the House agrees. So … if we have people in the DOJ who are perhaps not furnishing information, or if someone’s found in contempt of Congress, hypothetically speaking, because they haven’t provided the documents that have been lawfully requested, then you cut off the funds to that person.
You don’t cut off law enforcement funding. You don’t cut off funds from people who are doing what they are supposed to. But you do cut off the funding from people that are in contempt of Congress and think they are running some kind of monarchy.
We don’t use any power that we have. We fold. We cave.
It does require specific messaging — as we know, the so-called mainstream media is never going to help us — but you message it, you employ people that know how to get the truth out.
But yes, you touched on it, David. When our speaker buys into the lie that Republicans shut down the government? The fact is we kept passing compromise after compromise, even going beyond what some of us were at all comfortable with, trying to avoid a shutdown, and Harry Reid gets a pass from the media and doesn’t pass anything, doesn’t want our bills voted on, and won’t even appoint conferees. And your leader goes on TV and says: “Yeah, we shut it down, we knew it would be a disaster, but we went along because the majority of the party thought it was the thing to do”? Are you kidding me? Why have you bought into the lies that Harry Reid was telling?
Steinberg: Were Boehner’s comments unacceptable to the whole party? Do you feel the more liberal members of the caucus agreed, felt that they did cause the shutdown?
Gohmert: I haven’t talked to anybody that believed that Republicans shut down the government, because that’s just not true. So anytime any GOP leader says something that’s just not true, it creates a problem.
Anyway, I didn’t have an original thought with this PAC to aid conservative members. It was a page out of Jim DeMint’s playbook, when he created the Senate Conservative Fund to help conservatives who leadership was not going to help.
And in fact, I’ve had people tell me that Republican donors to Senate members have had people call them, tell them “don’t help this Republican or that Republican because the party doesnt like what they stand for.” Are you kidding me?
And then they bash the Tea Party people, and say they’re the problem?