NRCC Targets Vulnerable Democrats on Gitmo

Posted August 11, 2009 at 3:18pm

A day after a key Democrat warned the Obama administration against transferring Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detainees to a Kansas prison, the National Republican Congressional Committee is stepping up pressure on vulnerable Democrats to take a position on the issue.House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) on Monday raised “serious concerns— with the administration’s consideration of a Fort Leavenworth prison as a potential site for Gitmo detainees. In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Skelton cautioned that the move could result in Muslim countries no longer sending their students to the region’s military school. In addition, he said, it would add expenses for military construction and security.“I feel strongly that Fort Leavenworth is not an appropriate option,— said Skelton, who is the first senior Democrat to raise concerns with President Barack Obama’s plan to transfer Guantánamo detainees to U.S. prisons.House Democratic leaders have endorsed Obama’s plan to shut down the Guantánamo Bay prison and send some detainees to U.S. facilities, although they have refused to provide any funds until they see a detailed plan.The NRCC seized on Skelton’s comments and sent out press releases in 32 Democrats’ districts suggesting that they agree with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that Congress should pave the way to bring suspected terrorists into the country.“As leading voices on both sides of the aisle continue to speak out against the Democrats’ plan to import terrorists to the United States, will Eric Massa finally heed their advice or will he continue to side with Nancy Pelosi’s dangerous agenda?— NRCC spokesman Ken Spain states in the release distributed in Massa’s New York district.Other Democrats targeted over Guantánamo Bay include Reps. Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), Betsy Markey (Colo.), Walt Minnick (Idaho), John Murtha (Pa.) and Tom Perriello (Va.).