Yesterday, after the proposed bipartisan bailout package failed to pass, the House Republican leadership declared in a press conference that a “partisan” speech by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to blame for GOP opposition to the bill. But after being ridiculed by Democrats, media observers, and even some conservatives, Republicans are now walking back that claim:
— Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “We are not babies who suck their thumbs.”
— Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO): “I think you don’t want to give too much blame to that speech.”
— Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ): “It was embarrassing for leadership on both parties to lose the bill, so they went out and made a stupid claim.”
— Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “That speech was not the reason I voted against the bill.” [MSNBC, 9/30/08]
Watch a compilation:
Peter Wehner, a former adviser to President Bush, wrote at the Corner this morning that the effort to “blame the outcome on the Pelosi speech was an embarrassment.”
On Fox Business Live yesterday, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) said that Pelosi’s speech “didn’t” have any effect on his vote and that he “didn’t” know of any lawmakers who turned against the bill because of the speech.