Politico Tries To Scare Republicans Off Contempt Charge
The Fast and Furious investigation has finally handed House Republicans a prize they’ve long sought: a legal smackdown of the Obama administration.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was able to show skeptical conservatives that his spine could stay stiff under pressure from President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder by locking arms with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on a contempt of Congress vote Wednesday. There was no daylight — at least publicly — between Boehner and Issa, a dynamic the White House was desperately seeking.
(Also on POLITICO: 10 politicians threatened with contempt)
But the victories could come with a cost. House Republicans’ hot pursuit of Holder doesn’t exactly line up with Mitt Romney’s message, which he wants to keep focused on the economy. And Obama’s campaign wants to tie Romney to what he considers an extreme Republican majority.
The White House, President Barack Obama’s campaign and their allies on Capitol Hill seem to relish this battle — even though the administration will be portrayed as though it’s hiding reams of information.
Obama’s calculation: Republicans’ rejection of Holder’s final document offer — which would’ve prevented the committee contempt vote — again paints the GOP majority as distracted by issues peripheral to the sagging economy and stubbornly high unemployment.