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Tom DeLay to Newsmax: 'I Never Lost My Good Name'

Image: Tom DeLay to Newsmax: 'I Never Lost My Good Name'

Monday, 23 Sep 2013 08:34 AM

By John Gizzi

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay tells Newsmax that he is planning a book and a lecture tour now that an appellate court has overturned the criminal conviction that put his career on hold for seven long years.

"Oh, man, I'm so full of joy!" exclaimed DeLay, 66, referring to last week's 2-to-1 ruling by a Texas Court of Appeals that deemed his 2010 money laundering conviction "legally insufficient."

"The Lord is so good to me and he deserves all the glory," said the Texas Republican.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax, the former congressman said that the events of the last few days "are getting me geared up to come out and do things again."

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Among the first of his projects will be writing a book with Jerome Corsi, best-selling author and one of the "Swift Boat" veterans who wrote "Unfit for Command," a book that raised questions about John Kerry's Vietnam service when he was the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004.

"I've spent a lot of time with him and our book is tentatively entitled 'Shut Her Down,'" DeLay said. "It's about the revival of the Constitution and how to return power from all those federal programs to the states, which have sovereignty."

Anticipating he also will make some money on the lecture circuit, Delay said, "You'd really be surprised to learn the number of people who have asked me to speak somewhere in the last two days."

Responding to reports in the Washington Post that quoted him saying, "I could do it" regarding congressional enactment of a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare, the onetime master tactician of the House bristled.

"I never said 'I could do it' or claimed I could have gotten it through Congress," said DeLay, nicknamed "The Hammer" for his ability to line up votes for controversial measures in the House. "In fact, I have deliberately stayed out of the recent debate. I'm not involved."

At a time when House Republican leaders such as Speaker John Boehner are under fire from the right for not pushing a conservative agenda and younger tea party House members are criticized for driving their colleagues to the right, the Texan won't get into name-calling among the Republican side of the aisle he once dominated.

As he put it, "Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have a very hard job to do and I have praised the entire House Republican Conference for what they're doing on the (continuing resolution). I'm very supportive."

DeLay quit the House in 2006 after the charges were brought. He wasn't convicted for four more years. Last week the appeals court overturned all convictions.

DeLay recalled how he was at a prayer meeting in Washington Thursday when he learned of the news, and later went to the House floor. Boehner, he said, "was one of those who congratulated me. He always said I went through an awful time. Other Republicans came up and hugged me. And several Democrats shook hands with me, including [Minority Whip] Steny Hoyer."

DeLay is unworried about Republican lawmakers holding firm against funding Obamacare to the point of letting a government shutdown occur. He recalled when the government shut down twice in 1995 and Bill Clinton emerged on top over the House Republican leadership led by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"But we eliminated more than 100 programs, agencies and offices," he said. "And we got Clinton to cut spending and eventually sign welfare reform after vetoing it twice.

"Because of the government shutdown, Clinton thought we were crazy. And for six years, Clinton never signed one major bill that he initiated. We held control of Congress throughout his presidency.

"It's amazing what you can accomplish when you control the part of Congress with power of the purse," DeLay said.

DeLay said he has been a legal target of Democrats in Texas and Washington since the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee filed ethics charges at the then-majority leader in 1996.

Several of those cases have been funded by prominent left-of-center bankrollers, including George Soros. Over the years, he said, his defense has cost $12 million.

" I don't have much money myself," said the former exterminator, "but I do have friends who helped me."

Newsmax asked DeLay about the famous quote of former Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan in 1987 after his own acquittal on corruption charges: "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back? "

"I don't feel that way, because I never felt my reputation was hurt," he told us, "God was with me the entire time. So I don't have to go anywhere to get back my good name. I never lost it."

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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