In recent days, increasing numbers of conservative activists and commentators have followed Rush Limbaugh’s lead in rooting for President Obama to fail. Now, it seems the House Republican leadership is getting on the bandwagon.
On CNN this afternoon, Rick Sanchez asked Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) — the Chairman of the House Republican Caucus — if he agreed with Rush Limbaugh’s claim that “all Republicans want Barack Obama to fail.” Pence at first demurred, calling Sanchez’s question a “nice try.” “I know what Rush Limbaugh meant,” he said. But after listing off several caricatured aspects of Obama’s economic recovery plan, Pence said, “[Y]ou bet, we want those policies to fail”:
SANCHEZ: Did you hear what Rush Limbaugh said, “the dirty little secret is all Republicans want Barack Obama to fail?” Very direct question to you, Sir. Do you want Barack Obama to fail?
PENCE: Come on, Rick. Nice try. I know what Rush Limbaugh meant. … Everyone like me, Rush Limbaugh and others who believe in limited government, who believes in conservative values, wants the policies that this administration is bringing forward, higher taxes, massive increase in government spending, a huge increase in the role of government, in our daily lives, departure from traditional values. You bet, we want those policies to fail. Because, Rick, we know big government, increases in debt, the micromanagement of the economy out of Washington, DC is a policy that will fail.
Later, Sanchez asked Pence, “But if [Limbaugh] said something you disagreed with, would you call him out?” “I call them like I see them. Rush Limbaugh knows that.” Watch it:
Pence’s admission that he — and anyone “who believes in conservative values” — would like to see Obama’s policies fail is a direct contradiction to what House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) said on Sunday. “I don’t think anyone wants anything to fail right now,” Cantor told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Cantor’s suggestion that Limbaugh was wrong, however, does not appear to have been heartfelt. When contacted today by Greg Sargent, Cantor’s office refused to comment on whether or not the congressman did, in fact, disagree with Limbaugh in hoping for Obama to fail.
Finally, it’s troubling that Pence claims to know what Limbaugh really “meant” when he said “I hope Obama fails.” After all, Limbaugh refused to tell Sargent whether or not it would be “a good thing for the country” if Obama’s economic recovery plan were to be a success. It seems that if Senate Republicans haven’t decided they want Obama to fail, House Republicans sure have.