Republicans have been trying to extract as much political gain as possible from the ethical clouds surrounding Democrats Charlie Rangel (NY) and Maxine Waters (CA). But in an unexpected statement this afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner acknowledged it’s not making much of a difference.
“It’s a sad day for the House when members are charged with violating the rules of the House,” Boehner told WHAS in Louisville, KY in an interview, “This is going to play itself out, but I don’t expect it’s going to have a big impact on the election.”
Boehner was in Kentucky to help Republican Todd Lally defeat incumbent Democrat John Yarmuth.
Democrats have been hoping to use Republican attacks on Democratic ethics against them, to remind voters of recent and ongoing GOP scandals. The Rangel and Waters ethics trials, they say, prove that Democrats have made good on their pledge to clean up the House of Representatives, where, in the past, Republicans sought to bury their scandals.
“I just think that Republicans in the past have lost their way. It’s time for us to get serious about how we spend the people’s money. And I do think it’s time to build more bipartisanship in the Congress as well,” Boehner said.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.