I have to admit, I got a chuckle out of this statement by House Speaker John Boehner, who was defending Paul Ryan’s votes in favor of TARP among other things:
For those without video access, Boehner says:
“I mean, I think that (Ryan)’s a practical conservative. He’s got a very conservative voting record, but he’s not a knuckle-dragger, all right? He understood that TARP, while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save — save our economy, save the world economy, it had to happen.”
Which means, I guess, that in Boehner’s book most of Georgia’s congressional delegation at the time — Phil Gingrey, John Barrow, Paul Broun, (now-Gov.) Nathan Deal, Hank Johnson, Jack Kingston, John Linder, Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland — fall into the knuckle-dragger camp.
Boehner’s already suspect among many in his caucus for being too moderate. This ain’t gonna help him any.
UPDATE: Here’s the “clarification” from the speaker’s office:
“The Speaker said Paul Ryan is a practical conservative, and that Paul Ryan is not a knuckledragger. He did not say those who opposed TARP are knuckledraggers, and he does not believe TARP opponents are knuckledraggers. He did not say tea partiers are knuckledraggers, and he does not believe tea partiers are knuckledraggers. To the contrary, he has enormous respect for the tea party movement, which reflects the will of the American people and their desire for a government that respects our Constitution. Whether you supported or opposed TARP, we all can agree the crony capitalist philosophy of forcing responsible taxpayers to subsidize irresponsible behavior – perpetuated and perfected under President Obama – has wrecked our economy, and has to end.”
– Jay Bookman