It appears Politico also inaccurately reported other details, including its allegation that Quayle was among the congressmen who participated in the late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee.
Quayle says he did go swimming “for about 30 seconds” because he “wanted to experience it [the religious experience] and get out because my wife said that she was tired.” Quayle’s wife, who was with him on the trip, was more than eight-months pregnant. She did not drink alcohol that night, and Quayle said he only had a single glass of wine.
When Quayle went into the water, he said he was “properly attired,” adding that he brought home a vial of water from the Sea of Galilee to baptize his daughter, Evie. “We did return to Arizona with some water from the Sea of Galilee to baptize Evie after she was born,” his wife, Tiffany Quayle, said in a statement.
The inaccurate portrayal of Quayle as an active participant in a drunken swim party has led many Republican insiders, including Quayle and his staffers, to believe Schweikert leaked the story to Politico and framed Quayle’s alleged involvement in an effort to boost his own chances in the primary.
The Aug. 28 primary will likely determine the winner of the Nov. 6 election. Democrats in Arizona’s newly-drawn Sixth District are not expected to field a strong opposition candidate to whichever Republican emerges victorious.
“There seems to be a general consensus that the story was leaked by Schweikert to help him in his primary against Quayle,” one high-ranking Capitol Hill GOP source told TheDC. “If that’s true, it’s unfortunate that he’s willing to pit his own re-election against the party.”
Another senior Hill GOP source said that “[w]here there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there definitely seems to be troubling indication that it’s coming from Schweikert.”
A third high-ranking GOP source said that the Politico article was “not anything logical or about the truth,” and it’s clear that Schweikert and his political allies leaked it to try to smear Quayle.
“They’re in a sprint until next Tuesday, and there’s a lot of evangelical voters who would probably be upset by things like this,” that source said. “All they have to do is maintain this for another week and Schweikert wins.”