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Blunt Bullish on GOP Electoral Prospects

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) expressed confidence today that the GOP was on the right political side on a host of hot-button policy issues, and predicted that his party's prospects for November were far less dire than they've been portrayed in the media.

In a meeting with The Washington Post editorial board, Blunt suggested that Republicans were aligned with popular sentiment, particularly on energy, that the GOP's ideas would trump Democrats' enthusiasm for their presidential nominee and that tales of a lack of energy on the Republican side were trite and overblown.

"I think it's a story that's been written often, even in my lifetime," Blunt said. "It's not a new story. It's a story that the media likes to write. ... I don't think it's accurate.

As for Barack Obama, Blunt said his "candidacy has created a lot of excitement about 'change,' but I don't get a sense that there are any specifics as to what that change would be. ... The excitement may be on the other side but I think the ideas are still on our side. My view is that the ideas eventually will overwhelm the excitement and that very well could happen on Election Day this year."

Blunt was largely dismissive of polls giving Democrats a national advantage, both on the "generic" congressional ballot and on job approval of each party in Congress.

"I think that whole generic congressional rating doesn't have any impact on anything," Blunt said. "The lesson for us is that we need to do a better job talking about what we're for [and] explaining why it didn't happen the six years we had the House, the Senate and the White House."

Blunt added that the fact that Republicans have many more open House seats to defend this November than Democrats did not necessarily portend more GOP losses, since Republicans have had more open seats to defend in most recent elections.

"We're not going to lose many of these open seats. We may not lose any of them," he said.

"I just think you have to look at each individual district. You've got to realize that 90 days is a long time in politics. ... If you've got a Congress with 14 percent approval, that should be to the disadvantage of the people that have the most seats in that Congress."

Blunt expressed the view common among Republicans on the Hill -- whatever differences they may have or have had with John McCain, he gives them the best chance in many downballot races.

"As it turns out I think we nominated the guy who probably, in this environment, is the most helpful to our candidates than anybody we could have nominated," Blunt said.

On the vice presidential front, Blunt recommended that McCain select an experienced ticket-mate with solid credentials on economic policy.

"My advice to [the McCain campaign] would be ... you don't give away the No. 1 issue, which is that Obama's not ready, and then you look at the list you've got ... and you go as strongly economic as you could," he said. "John McCain's going to win on the foreign policy, commander-in-chief side of this equation, and I think having a running mate with strong economic credentials is where I think he would want to wind up, and I hope he does."

Blunt said Mitt Romney "meets the criteria, and others would too -- Rob Portman would meet the criteria."

As for the congressional agenda, Blunt said he believed -- and polling backs it up -- that the public supports the GOP's push to open more domestic land and offshore territory to oil and gas exploration. He acknowledged that while Republicans have been consistent in their call for more drilling, their views weren't always so popular as they are now.

Democrats "have been wrong on these issues for so long ... but when they were on that side they were on the side that people were on. To their credit, they at least were reflecting the majority of the American people on issues like nuclear and deep-water drilling and refinery sitings."

Blunt also dispensed with the suggestion that the GOP felt any pressure to cave on the pending housing rescue bill, and predicted that if President Bush is willing to veto the measure, House Republicans could marshal enough votes to sustain it. But Blunt did say it was vital for Congress to complete the measure before leaving town for the August recess.

"I think there would be a lot of reluctance to go home [without a housing bill] because of what might happen in the marketplace," Blunt said. "I'm not sure anything would happen, but I wouldn't think you'd want to take that chance."

By Ben Pershing  |  July 22, 2008; 6:28 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Agenda , GOP Leaders , House  
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Next: Bush and GOP At Odds...Again

Comments

actually it would only be news if he expressed the opposite view... which he can't.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 22, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

So... NEO-CON Mr. Blunt meets with the NEO-CON Post editorial board and they all agree to publish a non-story about Blunt's rediculously out-of-touch opinions with which the editorial board agrees. Or at least hopes will come true.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Really you guys are sooo funny! You're killing me over here!

Posted by: JBE | July 22, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

If Mr Blount is so confident, how about if he resigns his seat if the GOP loses another 10 seats? I think he is using Karl Rove's math from 2006. I hope Blount meets with the editorial board in mid November to explain why he was so terribly wrong -- which is becoming a hallmark of the GOP.

Posted by: Vincent F | July 22, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Blunt like so many in the GOP is a boot licking lapdog of Bin Bush. He as so many have betrayed this country and if I had my way they would all be rounded up and sent to a island....like Cuba

Posted by: wolf58 | July 22, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Blount is so far up De Nial that if he farts, he's going to drown in Cape Town.

Posted by: OfficerMancuso | July 22, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Fred Hiatt and the WaPo editorial board meet with Blunt -- and Blunt, seeing the first receptive group he's seen in months, spews the GOP talking-point BS usually reserved for the American Enterprise Institute and other like-minded mongoloid groups.

That was some coffee klatch, eh, Fred?

Marcus Brauchli must be proud as the Washington Post lurches further towards the disaster he made out of the WSJ (before being fired).

Posted by: pali2500 | July 22, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I feel as if I've just been hit with a blunt object. A sap, I think they used to call it.

Posted by: Banjo andy | July 23, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

"The lesson for us is that we need to do a better job talking about what we're for [and] explaining why it didn't happen the six years we had the House, the Senate and the White House."

Well that's where the problem is!

Posted by: Leo | July 23, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

So there are times that I think the GOP
Congressional Leadership,and its pathetic
losers like Roy Blount and No Chin Mitch
McConnell are trying to outscrew up the
Equally pathetic Democrat Congressional
Do Nothings From Mad Madame Speaker Nutty
Nancy Pelosi, Steny the cockroach Hoyer,
Harmless Harry Reid and Dirty Dickey Durbin
and that takes talent to out scew up,
Pelosi,Hoyer,Reid and Durbin. So no wonder
I became an Independent Voter myself after
seeing what losers both the Democrats and
Republican Failures in Congress have become
On top of George W Bush and Draftr Dodger
Cheney in the White House and the biggest\
failure of all time Democrat Presidential
Candidate The Great Messiah,Mullah,Empty
Suit Barack Hussein Obama! God Save the USA

Posted by: Sandy5274 | July 23, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

He's mostly right. Better not let the cockiest Obama wins the election. Anyone is fine but Obama!

Posted by: tiger | July 23, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

He's dreaming. Too much Kool-aid. Boy is he going to have a hangover on the Wednesday morning after the election. Ouch!

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Blount must have felt right at home with the Post's editorial board, perhaps more than he would have with the RNC! The Washington Times, the Post? There's no longer much difference. What a pity that a once great newspaper has fallen on hard times.

Posted by: texun | July 23, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

think "separation of powers" rush limbaugh knows why the "hammer" tom delay left the house of representatives?

Posted by: jeff | July 23, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Talk about the blind leading the blind. Does Blunt really expect the American voter to forget what 8 years of Republican government has wrought? Forget the two umwinnable wars, the death and destruction, the food shortages, the economic disaster, the torture and illegal renditions, the foreclosures, the unbelievable increase in fuel prices, the spectre of inflation, the national debt now through the roof, the loss of jobs, the ripping up of the Constitution, the fraudulent elections, the politicization of the justice department, the outing of a secret agent, the interference with scientific studies. Honestly it goes on and on. I know Republicans think the American public is stupid but this kind of arrogant fantasy on Blunt's part takes the cake.

Posted by: Archie1954 | July 23, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Another politically powerful Republican in denial.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 23, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

These republicans must swig the koolaide by the gallon. Blunt figured he was safe talking to the WaPo Editorial Board where the disasters of the past eight years starting with the urination on our Constitution have all but been overlooked. Let's see how the neocons feel the morning after the election. This country is seething with anger over what these clowns have done to us and the world.

Posted by: Pearl77 | July 23, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

He wishes.

Hint to Blunt: I live in the bootheel of Missouri. I hear people every day say they've voted Republican their whole lives. But not anymore.

Do you get it yet? Your brand stinks.

The GOP consistently trashes government, deriding its size, its regulatory powers, its cost. Once elected, Republicans (surprise!) then govern badly.

Many of us in Missouri are tired of the corruption, incompetence, fearmongering, warmongering and doublespeak of the Republican party and its incessant "talking points."

Don't come knocking on my door, Congressman Blunt. Your party's not getting my ear or my vote.

Posted by: goddessljt | July 23, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Gee...If congressional prospects are so "bullish" for the GOP this November, I wonder why Republican "leadership" is so terrified and desperate that it saw fit to advise their congressional candidates to "go ahead and vote with the Democrats on bills if you think this will help get you reelected?"

Besides the obvious lack of anything resembling a commitment to anything resembling core values and Republican "principles", this just tells me they have none!

And that they see the graffiti on the wall.

Congressman and Minority Whip Blunt "bullish"? Well, he got the first four letters of the word spelled correctly...but he mixed up the "s", "h" and "i"...and omitted the "t" completely on the last four!

Posted by: PETE TENNEY | July 24, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

More delusionary jabber from a GOP member.

Posted by: RAY | July 24, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

To quote Bob Novak, "the GOP is whistling as they walk past the graveyard"

Posted by: jerry kremer | July 24, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

A political statement from an interested player - perhaps the GOP will not do as badly as many Democrats hope. One thing is for sure, the Dems really need to see someone about that anger problem and resolve how it connects to mental dysfunction and endemic myopia.

Posted by: Tony | July 24, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do in the closely divided battleground states, but that we shouldn't have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote -- that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Because of state-by-state enacted rules for winner-take-all awarding of their electoral votes, recent candidates with limited funds have concentrated their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. Two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential election.

Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 20 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

Posted by: susan | July 25, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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