Skip to comments.Santorum: DeLay Needs to Answer Questions
Posted on 04/10/2005 11:07:44 AM PDT by AntiGuv
WASHINGTON - The No. 3 Republican in the Senate said Sunday that embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay needs to answer questions about his ethics and "let the people then judge for themselves."
Sen. Rick Santorum's comments seem to reflect the nervousness among congressional Republicans about the fallout from the increased scrutiny into DeLay's way of doing business.
DeLay, R-Texas, has been dogged in recent months by reports of possible ethics violations. There have been questions about his overseas travel, campaign payments to family members and his connections to lobbyists who are under investigation.
"I think he has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves," said Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
"But from everything I've heard, again, from the comments and responding to those, is everything he's done was according to the law," Santorum told ABC's "This Week."
"Now you may not like some of the things he's done," Santorum said. "That's for the people of his district to decide, whether they want to approve that kind of behavior or not."
DeLay was admonished three times last year by the House ethics committee. He has blamed his woes on Democrats, liberal interest groups and the media.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week that the controversy was distracting DeLay from dealing with more pressing problems before Congress.
Santorum, however, said DeLay is "very effective in leading the House" and that "to date, has not been compromised."
A senior Democratic senator, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, had this advice for the Republicans who control both the House and Senate: "Be careful about how closely you embrace Mr. DeLay."
Dodd cited the new rules for the ethics committee that House Republicans rammed through in the wake of DeLay's difficulties. Those rules require a bipartisan vote before an investigation can be launched. DeLay's office also helped mount a counterattack last fall against Rep. Joel Hefley (news, bio, voting record), R-Colo., who was the ethics committee chairman when it came down against DeLay.
"Unfortunately, in his particular case, there's a process that he's tried to change so they could actually reach a determination as to whether or not he's innocent or guilty of the things he's been charged with," Dodd said. "But this is not going to go away."
DeLay "becomes the poster child for a lot of the things the Democrats think are wrong about Republican leadership. As long as he's there, he's going to become a pretty good target," Dodd said on ABC.
The House leader, who took center stage in passing legislation designed to keep alive Terri Schiavo, also has found that President Bush and congressional colleagues are distancing themselves from his comments, after her death, about judges involved in her case.
"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," DeLay said, raising the prospect of impeaching members of a separate and independent branch of government. Later, he complained of "an arrogant and out of control judiciary that thumbs its nose at Congress and the president."
Bush, declining to endorse DeLay's comments, said Friday that he supports "an independent judiciary." He added, "I believe in proper checks and balances."
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said last week that the judges "handled it in a fair and independent way," although he had hoped for a different result.
Democrats have said DeLay's remarks were tantamount to inciting violence against judges.
That's a real shame, Senator Santorum once had political future.
Wow, we're going to trash a good conservative because he wants DeLay to answer the charges and come clean?
Santorum is a decent, moral man. If he believes DeLay, I appreciate that. But something smells here. We have to get over the knee-jerk reaction that all of our guys do the right thing all the time and all their guys are evil.
He is going to wind up in the unfortunate position of having the deathrats and the immoral media hate him for things he has said in the past, and the conservatives hate him for the pandering he is doing in the present. Of course, the will accept the pandering to get at us, Delay in this case, but they will laughingly slip in the shiv when he wants something from them.
Santorum is so worried about beating Casey in the senatorial election he's forgotten who he is. What a pity!
For both the Senate and the White House leadership to publicly contradict DeLay, then the chance of them standing by him if the going gets rougher doesn't look good.
Sen. Santorum has taken every opportunity of late to portray himself as anything but a conservative. I am disappointed by this change and doubt he will find long term support with his new constituency.
Spin that, Big Stupid Republican Government Republicans.
How soon they begin to eat their own. Democrats are rotten to the core but at least they know how to be loyal.
Too bad Santorum didn't have the huevos to call for the same for Pelosi.
I think its time to hang DeLay out to dry. Otherwise The Hammer's just going to stay in the news, stinking to heaven and hurting Republicans. Loyalty is well and good, but winning elections is more important. He's becoming an embarassment and a liability.
"Looks like DeLay's wife and daughter were on the take to the tune of half a million dollars.
Spin that, Big Stupid Republican Government Republicans."
Since they have (R) next to their names, it's OK, dontcha know?
STFU dodd. Stick to making waitress sandwiches with ted the drunken murderer. What a a-hole.
They weren't "on the take." They were on the payroll and there is nothing illegal about it. The money came from campaign donations, not tax money.
Why should Santorum let DeLay drag him down? DeLay is the one that plays at the edge of legality and house ethics (what an oxymoron). He should explain his behavior and if voters in his district approve, they will continue to vote him in. Why should Santorum accept DeLays morality? What if DeLay had come out in favor of euthanasia or abortion, would you have wanted Santorum keep his mouth shut just because the guy is a Republican leader? I dont think so. DeLay built his bed through his take no prisoners style of politics. Let him live in it.
Santorum is running afoul. Come clean? Delay openly filed this with the FEC, did you know that?
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