With Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama locked in a fight for chairmanship of the financial services committee with Rep. Ed Royce of California, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is pushing back at comments Bachus made to a local newspaper that “Palin cost us control of the Senate.”
Palin’s comments are important because they could provide a major boost to Royce, who is campaigning against Bachus in part by arguing his record is more conservative.
Referring to Bachus’s votes for government bailouts for Wall Street and the “Cash for Clunkers” program, which Palin called “the Bachus bigger government agenda,” Palin told The Daily Caller via e-mail, “No wonder he’s not thrilled with people like me, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and all the others who also endorsed commonsense conservative candidates.”
Palin’s involvement in the race, even while tangential, could be crucial given that many of the 80-some conservative freshman lawmakers coming to Washington are Tea Party-backed or otherwise aggressive conservatives.
Bachus’s spokesman, Tim Johnson, said Bachus is not anti-tea party or anti-Palin.
“Congressman Bachus, like other political observers, said that seats in states like Delaware and Nevada could have been won by stronger candidates and that’s a lesson going forward. As the article noted, he was extremely complimentary of the tea party movement and Governor Palin in crediting them with the great turnout of conservatives that led to many of the successes on Tuesday,” Johnson said.
Palin did endorse Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, who lost, but did not endorse Angle — or any candidate — in the Nevada primary.
Royce voted against the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) when then-President George W. Bush negotiated the proposal with Democratic leaders in Congress. Bachus voted “yes” on TARP twice.
When President Obama entered the White House, both Bachus and Royce voted against giving him access to $350 billion more in bailout money, as did a great many Democrats. That vote, however, was only symbolic, as the Senate had cleared Obama’s path and hundreds of billions of dollars more were authorized for use in bailout spending.
Royce also voted against the “Cash for Clunkers” program which paid thousands of dollars for individuals to trade their old vehicle in for a new one, with the old vehicle being destroyed.
The goals of the program were to reduce air pollution, as newer vehicles are generally cleaner, and t0 stimulate the ailing automobile sector. However, conservatives have attacked the program as a waste, noting that the marginal pollution reduction gains from the program could have been obtained other ways at a starkly reduced cost.
Bachus voted “yes” on “Cash for Clunkers.”