ABC News’ Jon Karl, one of the best reporters in Washington, asks the questions that need to be asked when it comes to putting hypocritical politicians on the spot. Sad to say, he had to do that today with two senior Republican Senators, John Cornyn and John Thune, about their hypocrisy on the earmark issue. Check out how uncomfortable everybody gets in this video:
Text of the exchange below the break.
Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and John Thune, R-S.D., held a press conference today to rip the Democrats’ new 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus bill for containing $8 billion worth of earmarks.
“The bill is loaded up with pork projects, and it shouldn’t get a vote,” Thune said.
“I think this is an outrage,” railed Cornyn.
But Thune and Cornyn have tens of millions of dollars for their own earmarks in the bill, including Thune’s request for $8 million for B-1 bomber fleet maintenance and Cornyn’s request for $1.6 million for the Texas Army National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force.
“How do you have any credibility on this?,” asked ABC’s Jon Karl.
“Because we’re going to vote against the bill,” said Cornyn. “This is the wrong way to do business.”
“Senator, were you wrong when you put these earmarks in before,” Karl asked.
“Karl, this is not just about earmarks,” said Cornyn. “Earmarks are a symptom of wasteful Washington spending that the American people have said they want reformed. We agree with them, and that’s why we will vote against this bill. But you’re missing the story if you think it’s just about earmarks. This is about a flawed process of sweetheart deals cut behind closed doors, and a big bill, a spending bill, dropped on the American people and on us on December the 14th, without adequate time to amend it and debate it and to reveal to the American people what is in it so they can cast their judgment.”