Blunt: Media Cost Me Majority Leader

Roy Blunt says it was the media’s fault he lost his bid for Majority Leader.

A day after his loss in the race for House majority leader, Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt said Friday that media calls for a new face in the party’s leadership rather than a desire by Republicans for change drove the outcome. Blunt said House members reacted to a daily drumbeat of negative news stories stoked by a few Republicans who did not speak for the party as a whole. “The five or six people that will talk to the media about what bad shape we’re in are not reflective of 225 of their colleagues,” Blunt said. “I don’t want to say the media is to blame but … if you can find a story that focused on anything but change, you come and show it to me,” he said.

I don’t want to blame the media . . . but I blame the media.

Blunt owes much to DeLay for his rapid rise to prominence. He served as deputy majority whip to DeLay, then rose to whip when DeLay was elevated to majority leader. Blunt also has been an active supporter of DeLay’s “K Street Project,” which pressured lobbyists to fund GOP activities and hire Republicans.

“The members read lots of stories, lots of editorials,” Blunt said. “They read lots of things, all of which took one view of this race, and that view was never to the advantage of someone like me who knows how to get the work done.”

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, one of the Republicans leading the campaign for a fresh face, said House members like Blunt personally but wanted more reform than he was offering. “I disagree that it’s just a few of us who think we need reform,” Flake said. “I think the consensus is far broader than that.”

That, in a nutshell, explains why Blunt lost: 1) He was strongly tied to DeLay and his infamous K Street Project, 2) He is incredibly arrogant, 3) His campaign slogan was stolen from Mussolini, and 4) He simply did not “get” the nature of the consensus that had formed about the need to radically reform.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. SoloD says:

    Bur amazingly there were over 100 Reps who stil thought that Blunt would be the best public face of the House GOP.

  2. James Joyner says:

    One of the strengths and weaknesses of the GOP is that it values loyalty. Blunt has been an effective floor manager and is apparently quite likeable when not talking to bloggers. It was, so to speak, “his turn.”

  3. McGehee says:

    Bur amazingly there were over 100 Reps who stil thought that Blunt would be the best public face of the House GOP.

    Solo, you really don’t want to go there.