The Corner

A Bargain Refused

Erin McPike of Hotline On Call reports:

Ex-Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) could have named his price for his vote on last year’s stimulus bill, but he told the Obama admin there was nothing he wanted. . . .

Martinez said he could have had his own Cornhusker kickback. . . .

During negotiations over the stimulus bill, Martinez said the WH asked him, “What do you have to have?”

“But I didn’t have to have anything,” he said he responded. “I didn’t want anything. I wanted a better bill.” Martinez said the talks were disillusioning when it came down to “how can we bribe you” for a vote. “So I walked away from the table,” he said. . . .

A spokesman for the WH acknowledged an inquiry but did not comment, as did a spokesman for Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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