WASHINGTON – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, issued the following statement today:
“Last week I indicated my interest in election to the Republican leadership and proposed that our next leader possess a strong commitment to tax cuts, a balanced budget, health care, privacy, ethics and grace in our dealings with one another. “Republicans cannot simply be Democrats-lite. We have to be real Republicans again, driven by the power of the good ideas that we share with America’s working families. People want more freedom and less government. They want to keep more of what they earn. They want to be healthy, they want to be protected from snooping, and they want to believe that their Congress is honest. If we stand with America, America will stand with us.“After prayerful consideration and literally hundreds of discussions with my colleagues, I have decided to seek the position of Republican leader. My guarantee is this: We will achieve a net gain of seats in each upcoming election cycle and if we do not regain the majority within three election cycles, I will not seek the position of minority leader in the succeeding session. “Our leadership election must be the triumph of good ideas and the first step down a short road to a new, dynamic Republican majority. That is my commitment to every Republican.”
In one of my conversations today, a watcher put this one succinctly: Barton’s chances are about equal to [Duncan] Hunter’s for president.
My late-night fuggetaboutit re: Barton (and a flashback to the a congressional classic) is here.