The top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives came to Warner Robins Wednesday, highlighting the importance of the 8th District Congressional fight and throwing his support behind GOP nominee and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard.
Saying that "Rick has spent his entire career getting himself ready for what he's about to do," U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Goddard is "well rounded" with "a good solid background."
He also promised to try and get Goddard a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, which 8th District U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall already sits on, if Goddard beats Marshall this November.
"My intention is to do everything I can do to make sure. ..." Boehner said. "Can't guarantee."
Said Goddard, a former fighter pilot and commander of the Robins Air Logistics Center: "When I get to the House Armed Services Committee, I think I will have instant credibility because of my experience."
Boehner downplayed any differences he may have with Goddard on last week's vote to spend $700 billion in taxpayer money to purchase toxic loans and bail out the financial industry.
Boehner voted for it; Goddard has criticized Marshall repeatedly for his vote in favor of the bill.
"Some members voted for it, some members vote against it. ..." Boehner said. "They've got to do what they think is right."
Boehner also blamed Democrats for the mmortgage and credit crisis that led to the bailout, saying Democratic leaders in Washington repeatedly blocked Republican efforts at reform. Republicans may have held the majority in Congress prior to the Democratic take over two years ago, but "just because you have a majority in the Congress doesn't mean you have complete control," Boehner said.
Asked after the press conference if the cause of the current financial crisis is really as simple as blaming Democrats, Boehner replied, "It really is."
By the way - I found it a little odd that Boehner had a four car police escort from the Warner Robins Police Department. They were running rolling street closures to get him to the press conference. I asked him if that's normal when he travels and he said no.
"Only in Houston County," he said. "I've been in a lot of counties."
As minority leader, Boehner has a security detail. But, to answer a reader's question, he's not in the Constitutional line of succession for the presidency.
UPDATE: Maj. John Wagner of the Warner Robins Police Department wanted to make it clear that the police escort was not requested by the campaign. Rather, it's something they do for all dignitaries - kind of a city pride thing. He noted Gov. Sonny Perdue got the same treatment earlier this week.
UPDATE 2: I talked to Sen. Saxby Chambliss about his Democrats-are-to-blame-for-all-the-economy's-problems thing. He wasn't quite as convinced on that, saying there's blame to go around. But he said Democrats definitely blocked various reform efforts. He also said he plans to have examples of reforms that were suggested, and how they were blocked, up on his Web site in the next few days.