NRC's Walden: McAllister 'Needs to Answer to His People'

Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 01:38 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Louisiana Republican Rep. Vance McAllister needs to "answer and be held accountable" after a video surfaced showing him kissing a married staff worker went public, said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden Sunday, but he declined to call for McAllister's resignation.

Others, including Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and the chairman of the state Republican Party have called publicly for McAllister to step down, but he's refused.

Walden, appearing on CNN' "State of the Union" in a segment to outline party plans to attract voters, said he has not spoken to McAllister since the scandal broke.

The lawmaker, though, "needs to answer to his people and his family and needs to be held to a very high standard in Congress," said Walden. "And I don't think he's been held to that standard. We should be held to a higher standard than what I've seen in that video."

Democrats believe they can beat McAllister if he runs for re-election. But if he decides not to run, his district is highly Republican, so another GOP candidate could replace him.

Walden, of Oregon, appeared with his counterpart, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, N.Y., to discuss strategies for the upcoming November midterm elections.

And while Israel said it is too early to predict who will win, Walden insisted Obamacare and the nation's economy are enough to bring out Republican voters.

According to a recent CBS national survey, 70 percent of Republicans are excited about this year's election, compared with 58 percent of Democrats.

But when host Candy Crowley pushed Walden on other surveys showing Congressional approval ratings are now at record lows, asking about declining Republican poll numbers, Walden pushed her back. He pointed out that Congress has two parts, and while the House has a Republican majority, the Senate's majority is Democrats.

"So when you talk about Congress approval ratings, remember, you've got Harry Reid and the Democrats running the Senate," he told her, pointing out that Republicans and Democrats in the House have backed bipartisan bills that did not move once they got to the Senate.

Further, Walden said, the "American people just want to know the truth. They want to know the truth about what really happened in the targeting of conservative groups in the IRS, they want to know what happened in Benghazi. They want to know the answers, and that's all we are trying to do."

Walden said his committee is "focused on jobs and the economy... things that people care about," he said. "The economy under President [Barack] Obama has not been all that stellar. People are really concerned about the future of this country."

And when Crowley told Walden that "people really don't like Republicans these days," he told her that the average American doesn't really care as much "about one party's image or the other" when it comes to making a decision on where to cast votes.

"They care about the price of gasoline going in their van when they're taking the kids to soccer and ballet," said Walden. "They care about whether their hours are going to be cut back as they are under Obamacare, as they get cut from 40 hours to 30 [hours a week.]."

And Americans just want to know the truth when it comes to former IRS Director Lois Lerner and how her agency targeted groups, on the Benghazi terror attacks, and on executive overreaches, Walden said.




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