(UPDATED: NRSC Responds To Charge) Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Targets GOP Leadership with New PAC
Steinberg: [Mark] Levin pulled up an article from the '70s, using the exact same terminology against Reagan that was used against Cruz last week. That's 40 years of kicking the can down the road, at the least.
Gohmert: Right, I heard Rush Limbaugh had pulled an article George Will wrote about Reagan in '79, saying that he was a "kamikaze," and then he pulled out a recent article saying Cruz is a "kamikaze." We've got a pattern here.
Steinberg: Right, the Kim Strassel piece at the WSJ.
Gohmert: After the fact, it's "I supported Reagan, I loved Reagan." Karl Rove says that. Well, actually Reagan wasn't popular among establishment folks back then.
And those that supported George H. W. Bush for president, they got on board once he was the VP candidate, but they really didn't trust that crazy actor. They'd always call him the "B-movie actor," try to denigrate him. He was a smart guy.
And there are a lot of smart guys here in Congress now that get denigrated. They get marginalized, people say "they're conservatives, so obviously they're not very bright." People hear a southern accent and immediately deduct 50 IQ points. Some of that goes on, too. Anyway, regardless of how smart anyone is, if they make promises when they ran, and get elected, they should do all they can to keep those promises. That's what we want to see happen.
Steinberg: Why does the leadership still consider moderation -- hiding your conservatism, I suppose -- why do they still consider that a winning strategy?
Gohmert: They talk in terms of trying to win the independent votes. What some of our leaders don't understand is that Tea Party people are from all races, creeds, national origins, ages, but they pay taxes. They don't want a wasteful, bloated government. And what's wrong with that? They consider themselves conservative, but independent. Perhaps they number more than anyone else independent. They consider themselves conservative more than they consider themselves of a party label.
What our leaders don't get, as evidenced by 2012 -- they alienated independent conservatives, they stayed home by the millions and allowed Obama to get elected to a second term.
Steinberg: If you win the Senate, do you see leadership turning conservative once they have the gavel back? Or is this pattern going to continue, this is just how they think, this is the way they appeal to independents?
Gohmert: If you look at the GOP members of the Senate and the House, you see that it is a hugely conservative group of people. And yet we have people in charge that go with the moderates as the party leaders. We say, "Wow, we're basically a very conservative group, but we put moderates in charge that keep us from enacting the conservative principles that will save America, what we promised we would do when we got elected."
I just think it is important to do all I can to help those who make promises and want to keep their promises.
Steinberg: So is this PAC not just about defending conservatives, but also about pulling some of those with a less conservative record up until now out of the closet?
Gohmert: Well, I want to help anyone that will stand for their principles. I'm Christian, I'm forgiving of anyone, it's what you do today and tomorrow that's important. That's what we want to do, we want to help anyone that may have been going along with leadership, and may say, hey, I've been a team player for two, three years and it hasn't gotten me to the point where I can keep the promises I made when I got elected. I've had a number of people tell me, "Wow, Louie, I was told to be a team player and I would have all my promises kept, and now I see we still haven't gotten around to them." We promised Americans we would cut $100 billion the very first year in the House majority. We sure didn't get close to that.
Steinberg: Last question -- I'm in New England, in Connecticut, and it's Kelly Ayotte, the only member of the House or Senate who is a Republican, let alone a conservative. Do you see any talent coming out of this area, anyone worth supporting as of now?
Gohmert: I don't know, I haven't looked closely enough at that, but we have to recognize a state or district for what it is. If it's a moderate district, then there are people that I would be glad to have elected as Republicans so that Pelosi does not get the gavel back and take the country on down this road that ends with going off the cliff, a tragic end. I would welcome moderates from moderate districts to represent those districts for the party.
But for states and districts that are conservative, they ought to be allowed to represent their districts. I want to help them do that.
Steinberg: Thank you for your time, Louie.
Gohmert: No, thank you! Thanks for the interest. And that's "GOHConservative.com."