Utah Governor John Huntsman doesn’t have many nice things to say about the Republicans in Congress:
The Republican governor of Utah on Monday said his party is blighted by leaders in Congress whose lack of new ideas renders them so “inconsequential” that he doesn’t even bother to talk to them.
“I don’t even know the congressional leadership,” Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, shrugging off questions about top congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “I have not met them. I don’t listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential – completely.”
He said congressional Republicans failed to score political points for opposing the bill – only three Republican senators supported it – because the public saw them as objecting to being shut out by Democrats from helping write the bill rather than as taking a principled stand.
The governor said congressional Republicans are being frustrated by a lack of credibility on the party’s No. 1 tenet: fiscal responsibility.
“That’s why no one is paying any attention,” he said. “Our moral soapbox was completely taken away from us because of our behavior in the last few years. For us to now criticize analogous behavior is hypocrisy. We’ve got to come at it a different way. We’ve got to prove the point. It can’t be as the Chinese would say, ‘fei hua,’ [or] empty words.”
Huntsman is, of course, totally correct. House and Senate Republicans totally blew whatever credibility they had on issues like fiscal responsibility and small government by actively participating in Bush’s reckless spending spree. For them to expect the public to now accept them as the new guardians of fiscal responsibility is, well, just plain absurd.
This much is true — the future of the Republican Party does not lie in Congress, it lies in the Governor’s Mansions and Statehouses around the country. The guys in Congress have, with a few notable exceptions that seem to prove the rule, ceded any claim to the principles they now shout out with such vigor.
Here’s Huntsman’s interview in full, it’s worth watching: