Flake Calls Newt ‘Father of Earmarking’

by Daniel Foster

Jennifer Rubin has crib notes on a conference call with House conservatives on behalf of the Romney campaign. That Gingrich had been brought in to lobby for Medicare Part D is news to me:

Jeff Flake dubbed Gingrich the “father of contemporary earmarking” and accused Gingrich as speaker of telling appropriators to take congressional races into account when doling out the earmarks. Chaffetz widened the attack, making the case that those on the call were among the most conservative members of Congress, and Gingrich was no conservative. He argued that Gingrich has undermined conservatives, as he did by siding with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on global warming and in attacking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on right-wing social engineering.

I asked the congressmen if they’d ever been lobbied by Gingrich. Flake answered that he hadn’t been individually but said that in the Medicare Part D debate, “[GOP congressman] Billy Tauzin brought Newt in as the closer.” Gingrich ended the GOP conference meeting declaring, “If you can’t pass that bill you don’t deserve to govern.” Ouch.

More here.