Prominent Conservative Wants House GOP to Act

Posted September 26, 2008 at 11:07am

With negotiations over a federal rescue for the nation’s financial system turning contentious, prominent conservative radio talk-show host and blogger Hugh Hewitt is urging House Republicans to sign on to a deal or risk an electoral backlash.

Hewitt is a staunch Republican and longtime supporter of President Bush and GOP presidential nominee John McCain, and also uses his blog to support House and Senate candidates. He wrote Friday morning at hughhewitt.com that voters will hold House Republicans accountable if they fail to show some philosophical flexibility in handling the financial crisis and the economy suffers as a result.

“You are at a fork in the road,” Hewitt wrote. “You cannot stand by and watch people’s business and savings hemorrhage and expect them to reward you for your purity of purpose and incompetence of execution.”

In Hewitt’s post, titled “Memo to House Republicans,” the Orange County, Calif.-based commentator urged the House GOP to support at least some form of the Bush administration’s plan as designed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Hewitt also recommended to House Republicans that they vest in McCain, an Arizona Senator, the power to approve or reject any final deal. Hewitt’s recommendation to House Republicans was that they compromise first so that a deal can be reached and then make their case to voters that the prevention of future crises depends on electing more fiscal conservatives to Congress.

“Here’s a shocker: No one likes the risks involved in [Paulson’s plan] or the precedent of using so much public money to rescue reckless bankers, both private and semi-private,” Hewitt wrote, before adding:

“The public can be trusted to understand exactly how this crises evolved and why [Paulson’s plan] was the best of the options available to you and why urgent action is needed to both use tax cuts and energy exploration to recharge the prosperity of the past twenty years.”

Hewitt’s commentary was one example of the several ways that the political ramifications of the financial crisis for Members of Congress were just beginning to be bandied about at week’s end. Late Thursday, at least a few Congressional campaigns — both Democrat and Republican — were using the crisis and fight over the proposed rescue plan to score political points.