The Tea Party freshman made the remark while discussing electric cars on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show. Kelly complained that we have “a president that just refuses to ever take responsibility for a bad decision,” claiming that Obama takes insufficient credit for the health care and stimulus bills. (Obama and the White House regularly tout the stimulus package and health care reform laws.)
Kelly, beside himself with anger criticizing Obama, went on to level a serious charge against the president: “This guy is the Pontius Pilate of politics”:
KELLY: This is a president that just refuses to ever take responsibility for a bad decision. His hands should have been all over this health care bill and should have been all over the stimulus bill. He’s a guy who’s always at arm’s length isn’t he? [...] He is the leader of the greatest country the world has ever known. He has taken us down a path that is just littered with debt after debt after debt and he never says, “I was wrong folks. We’ve got to change the trajectory of this.” All he says is, “those doggone Republicans are trying to make me look bad.” There’s an old story out there, if you’re not a good-looking person, stay away from mirrors. This guy is the Pontius Pilate of politics. He washes his hands of every decision that he has to make and throws it in the Congress and says, “let them make the really tough decisions. I’m running for reelection.”
Listen to it:
Kelly’s charge that Obama, a Christian, is comparable to Pontius Pilate, the ancient Roman official who sentenced Jesus to death, was apparently leveled without a hint of irony. The Tea Party congressman’s reference to Obama supposedly “wash[ing] his hands of every decision” was all it took to compare the president with Pontius Pilate’s actions after crucifying Jesus, when he “took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’” (Matthew 27:24)
Some freshmen congressmen come to Washington, D.C. and are able to fight for their causes without comparing their political opponents to history’s evildoers. Other congressmen aren’t. Despite his jovial demeanor, it’s clear which camp Rep. Kelly falls into.