Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) told National Review Online he didn’t hear Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) speak on the Senate floor this afternoon. He probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it if he had. Thune took a veiled shot at fellow 2012 presidential prospect Mitt Romney and his USA Today op-ed, in which the former Massachusetts governor heavily criticized the tax proposal that is expected to pass the Senate sometime this week. Thune said it was “easy” and “perhaps politically expedient” for outsiders to criticize the deal.
He also appeared to go after members of his own party who oppose the deal — that includes Sens. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Jeff Sessions(R., Ala.), John Ensign (R., Nev.) and Tom Coburn (R., Okla) in the Senate, as well as Flake and many others in the House. “Inaction is not an option, and advocating against this proposal is no different than advocating for higher taxes,” Thune said.
Upon hearing a summary of Thune’s remarks, Flake laughed and said, “He’s wrong.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), who also opposes the deal, agreed with Flake. “There’s no Republican that favors raising taxes,” he said.