Boehner Turns Down Air Force One Ride To Tucson For RNC Cocktail Party
This just seems odd to me:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) turned down an offer by President Barack Obama to travel on Air Force One to Arizona for a memorial service on behalf of the victims of Saturday’s shooting, a decision that has upset some Democrats.
Boehner is instead scheduled to attend a reception on Wednesday night on behalf of Maria Cino, a former top House GOP aide who is seeking the Republican National Committee chairmanship. Boehner is backing Cino’s challenge to current RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
Senior Democrats – who to date had been impressed with Boehner’s response to the Arizona tragedy – expressed surprise at what they saw as an unmistakable misstep by the new speaker: appearing at a partisan political event on the same night as the the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Arizona congressional delegation come together at the memorial service for the victims of an attack that nearly took the life of a member of the House. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was critically wounded in Saturday’s attack, while six other people died and a dozen more were wounded.
“It is disrespectful for Speaker Boehner to skip joining the President’s and bipartisan congressional delegation to the Tucson Memorial so he could host a Washington D.C. cocktail party for RNC members,” said a Democratic leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Frankly, I’d assumed all week that Boehner, as Speaker, would be present at the service for an event that was, we now know, a planned assassination attempt against a member of the House of Representatives. I think it was a mis-step for him not to go.