The chairman of the House Republican Conference told Politico Thursday that it’s “hogwash” that GOP leaders are worried about what Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party movement are doing to their party’s image.
Mike Pence, R-Ind., was responding to a story in Politico called “Conservatives Roar; Republicans Tremble.” In the story the news site reported that “many top Republicans are growing worried that the party’s chances for reversing its electoral routs of 2006 and 2008 are being wounded by the flamboyant rhetoric and angry tone of conservative activists and media personalities.”
Not so, said Pence.
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“You know, the American people cherish their freedom of speech and a free and independent press. That's why I found this morning's headlines so troubling,” Pence told Politico Thursday. “Goaded on by a White House increasingly intolerant of criticism, lately the national media has taken aim at conservative commentators in radio and television. Suggesting that they only speak for a small group of activists and even suggesting in one report today that Republicans in Washington are ‘worried about their electoral effect.’
“Well, that's hogwash.
“To suggest that men and women that are taking a stand for fiscal discipline and traditional values in the national debate today only speak for ‘grassroots activists’ is absurd. As evidenced by the hundreds of thousands that filled town hall meetings this summer and the nearly a million Americans who gathered here in Washington in September. Millions of Americans, Republicans, Democrats and Independents are worried about liberal social policies and runaway federal spending, deficit and debt.
“So to my friends in the so-called ‘mainstream media’ I say, ‘conservative talk show hosts may not speak for everybody but they speak for more Americans than you do.’”
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