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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tom DeLay Trounces A Professional Troll!

A MAJOR ATTA BOY!!

To Lauer's Dismay, DeLay Condemns Media's Scandal Double Standard

OOPS!! D'OH!!

MATT LAUER: By all accounts, these are some tough times for the Republican party. Last fall, Democrats took control of both houses of Congress, largely because of opposition to the war in Iraq. In 2006, the Republican party was also hit with distracting scandals involving Congressman Mark Foley's inappropriate e-mails to male congressional pages, and lobbyist Jack Abramoff's corruption case, that brought down several prominent Republican Congressmen. This year, the phone number of Republican senator David Vitter turned up in the records of a Washington, DC escort service, and now, recent polls show voters prefer a Democrat over a Republican by 51 to 27%, and at least one poll found the most popular choice among Republican presidential candidates is "none of the above." The question now: can any of the damage be reversed? Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay served in Congress for 22 years and knows personally how scandals can impact a party. He's also the author of a new book called No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight. Tom DeLay, Congressman, good morning.

TOM DELAY: Good morning, Matt.


LAUER: So, I went through a litany there, and maybe I should start by stepping back. We've got two members out of 49 Republican Senators in office right now embroiled in controversy. So, do we have a party embroiled in scandal or do we have two bad apples?


DELAY: Well, I hate to say this Matt, but you just showed the problem, the double-standard, and you just participated in it. You listed a whole lot of scandals that involve the Republicans, but you didn't mention one Democrat.


LAUER: But you didn't hear me. I also just said do we only have two bad apples or is there a case of an entire party embroiled in scandal?


DELAY: I think in your premise, if you had listed all the Democrats that are having problems right now, it would have been different. You see the Democrats re-elect the people with their problems. Republicans kick them out. If you look at what's going on, it's how you handle it as a party and as a political group. You have right now, Alan Mollohan, a Congressman from West Virginia, who is being investigated by the FBI, and the Democrats have kept him on as chairman of the committee that has oversight of the budget of the FBI. You have William Jefferson-


LAUER: So, you're saying it's a positive thing. Is it a positive thing that the Republicans do this, they weed out immediately?


DELAY: You don't want me to finish it? Because you don't want me to-


LAUER: No, no go ahead.


DELAY: Well, you have William Jefferson caught with $90,000 of marked bills in a freezer. And they did put him of the Ways and Means Committee, but they put him on a highly-sensitive Homeland Security Committee. You have Barney Frank, who was caught with a homosexual prostitute who was re-elected over and over again. Gerry Studds who was caught in a bathroom with an under-aged page and he was re-elected.


LAUER: So, why are people like McCain and Norm Coleman and Mitt Romney immediately distancing themselves from Larry Craig? And let me ask you this -- as someone who has seen personal scandal yourself, and knows what it can do -- when you look back in hindsight, knowing how this of thing plays out in the news cycle -- if you could talk to Larry Craig right now, what advice would you give him?


DELAY: Well, first of all, it's really unfortunate that people rush to judgment like they have. I'm not defending Larry Craig. I have great sympathy for what his wife and his family are going through right now. But the decisions that Larry Craig need to make are up to Larry Craig and his constituents in Idaho. But it takes us off our message, and I grant you that. It takes us off the fact that we are winning in the war in Iraq; that the President is going to stop the Democrats from raising taxes and increasing spending; that we desperately need border security in this country. We need to be talking about those kind of things, rather than this.


LAUER: And we've heard some very public statements, as I just mentioned, from John McCain and Norm Coleman and Congressman Hoekstra there a second ago. If Larry Craig decides to -- as your book title, No Retreat, No Surrender -- stay and fight, ok. What other ways, more subtle ways, do members of his own party -- and from your own experience -- start to deliver the message that it's not going to work?


DELAY: Well, I know Larry Craig, and I think he will make the right decision, that benefits him and his family, and his constituents in Idaho. But if you're not guilty of something, you should fight-


LAUER: But he pled guilty?


DELAY: But then he said he made the wrong decision in doing that. I'm not going to get into the specifics of what he has done. He didn't handle it very well. That's obvious.


LAUER: Given the situation in Washington right now, Congressman, I mean, can Larry Craig pull a Trent Lott? Can he duck under the radar for a while, and give up a powerful position, stay out of the spotlight for a while, and come back, make a comeback?


DELAY: I have no idea, Matt. You asked me to come on to talk about the GOP and politics, not about this man's personal life. Whatever decision he makes, I think it will be the right decision. The point here, though, is the Republicans handle it. They look at it, and when the evidence is right on that someone is guilty, they do something about it. On the other hand, the Democrats don't. And the media, the double-standard in the media is amazing. The feeding frenzy, the sharks in the water that's going on right now because of a Republican. Where is the frenzy on Alan Mollohan from West Virginia or William Jefferson from Louisiana?


LAUER: I think you mentioned William Jefferson. There was an awful lot of coverage of William Jefferson when that story broke, Congressman.


DELAY: Yeah, for just a couple of days and then we went on. In the case of a Republican, believe me, I've experienced this, it's day in and day out in the media, and they write this story over and over and over again. We all know the double-standard in the media. It's amazing.


LAUER: Well, I'm not going to let it, you know, end with that assumption, Congressman, because I clearly don't agree with it, but why don't we just say-


DELAY: You exhibited it, Matt!


LAUER: But you know what, Congressman? I think it's unfair. Because I listed a list of problems and then immediately-


DELAY: All Republicans.


LAUER: Well, we're talking about the Republican party. You just said, I invited you on to talk about the GOP.


DELAY: Because you don't want to talk about the Democrats.


LAUER: So, that's exactly what I started with-


DELAY: Because you don't want to talk about the Democrats.


LAUER: And I also, Congressman, started and then said, 'Is this a misperception, that there is a party embroiled in scandal, when we may just have two bad apples?' That's exactly how I started my first question.


DELAY: No, you started the first question by listing a bunch of Republicans and didn't mention one Democrat.


LAUER: Because we're talking-


DELAY: About the situation that's going on in Washington today, and including both Democrats and Republicans. There are scandals that need to be addressed. Republicans address them, Democrats re-elect them.


LAUER: Alright Congressman, I'll let you have the last word. It's good to have you on.


DELAY: Thank you. Thank you
.

That was just too funny...