(UPDATED: NRSC Responds To Charge) Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Targets GOP Leadership with New PAC
Gohmert: Anyway, people in a district have a right to be represented by a person who actually represents what those people believe in. Not just somebody that a moderate leader feels he would be more comfortable with in Congress. So we want to help anybody who will stand on the founding principles, stand for what the Constitution requires.
Steinberg: I noticed you have seven specific issues laid out on GOHConservative's About page. I know you mention on the site that the list isn't comprehensive, but you've got the seven bullet points there. Now the Daily Caller article mentions your primary focus is going to be supporting the fiscal conservatives, getting support to those types of candidates.
That would raise the question of ... if you get a candidate who's not a 100% ACU-rated conservative, is that still someone who should be looking to GOHConservative for support?
Gohmert: Somebody can be a 100% ACU conservative, and not actually stand up for the defense of the country against those who wish to take us out, so --
Steinberg: I don't even think they have you up there at 100%.
Gohmert: (Laughs) But yes --
Steinberg: Let's say, say Scott Walker -- his financial, fiscal success is unparalleled, he certainly is not going to fly with conservatives on other issues. Is a Scott Walker someone who would garner support from the PAC?
Gohmert: Yes, I mean if a Scott Walker-type candidate would run for federal office, and it's clear that this is a stand-up person who is going to stand for our principles, and not be sucked into just wanting to score a chairmanship of a certain committee, but will stand by the principles they ran on -- yes, we will help.
Steinberg: You responded to some of the attacks on the Ted Cruzes of the party being problematic for the party's chances. You responded that this is about the constituents -- we've got to hold up our end of the bargain. These conservatives were voted in on these platforms, this is what they're here for, to more honestly live out their mandate.
Gohmert: That's what it is. Keeping the promises we made when we got elected. How hard is that?
We can't be like the other party that makes promises only to get elected, then doesn't care what happens after that. We have got to be about the truth. Some in the party say, gee, the truth, or what we promised, is maybe the right thing to do, but not politically the right thing. And I continue to maintain that the right thing will always ultimately be the politically right thing.
Maybe not initially, but in the long run, the right thing to do, honesty, truth, doing what we promised when we got elected -- those things will win out in the end. They will be the politically right thing in the end.
It is frustrating. We took a pledge in 2010. I didn't write it, but I read it, and I could support it, and I pledged to support all that was in there. And after we get elected, it seems to go right out the window. If we're going to make a pledge, we ought to keep it.
Steinberg: I see a negative and a positive there. One is that party members are deliberately hiding their conservatism for strategic purposes. That seems to be the theme that you're getting across here. In some cases, you are being told --
Gohmert: Well, they're not intentionally hiding their conservatism for strategic purposes. The dynamic is more of .. they are here, they are conservative, their constituents are conservative. But the leadership preys upon their patriotism, preys upon the "team spirit" thing.
Instead of threatening, it's more like ... "Hey, we thought you were a team player. We didn't know you were a big showboat that only cares about yourself. We had you pegged as a team player, so maybe help the team."
And for people that are caring, sensitive people, that strikes a nerve. They think, you know, I am a team player, I am not out for myself, I want to do what's best for the country. [Leadership responds with] well, what's best for the country is you help our team. This may not be everything you want right now, but it lets us move on down the road.
I get so tired of hearing about "move on down the road."
You kick the can on down the road, live to fight another day. Are you kidding me? How long are we gonna keep kicking the can down the road, living to fight another day? The answer is we keep that up, we'll live to fight another day when we aren't a free country.