On CNN's State of the Union, Candy Crowley tries to get NSCC Chairman John Cornyn to reply as to whether he agrees with some of the Republican's new batch of wingnut candidates and their views on privatizing Social Security and lowering the minimum
October 4, 2010

On CNN's State of the Union, Candy Crowley tries to get NSCC Chairman John Cornyn to reply as to whether he agrees with some of the Republican's new batch of wingnut candidates and their views on privatizing Social Security and lowering the minimum wage, and rather than answer her, he calls what they've said "fear mongering" by Democrats and says he doesn't want to "relitigate them here." He also tries to pretend that their backtracking doesn't mean that's what those candidates really believe.

What's really pathetic is that those views that he's trying to paint as "extreme" here are what most Republicans actually do believe. They're just not allowed to say what they think out loud and these unpolished new comers that have swept in there under this "Tea Party" mantra apparently didn't get that memo before they opened their mouths. It's leaving them exposed to having to actually defend those positions. Rather than defend them, Republicans like Cornyn are pretending that what these candidates have said out loud is not what Republicans actually think.

The truth of the matter is, they hate any social safety nets. They hate that we have a minimum wage. They do want to dismantle Social Security and privatize it. They hate anything that helps working people in America and that does not help their big corporate donors who'd happily see us turned into a country with nothing but rich and poor and no middle class. And they've been doing their damnedest to take us there. And as Sen. Robert Menendez pointed out, it's not fear mongering to point out what someone has said they want to do.

Full transcript via CNN.

CROWLEY: So, getting back to the question I wanted to ask you, which is about Senator DeMint, it seems to me, if I were a betting person, that there may, when you return to Washington in January, be a kind of DeMint wing inside the Republican Party on the Senate side, sort of a party within a party.

So when you look at that, how is that going to work? Because you may get some candidates here who want to get rid or who want Social Security privatized. Some have said they want to lower the minimum wage, things like that. How is that going to work inside the party? Are those things you can sign on to?

CORNYN: Well, some of those are, of course, Democratic talking points, trying to scare people, and of course ,the candidates where those issues have been raises have explained themselves. And I'm not going to relitigate them here.

But let me just say that, I think, when it comes to restoring checks and balances, that's what we're going to see. And a lot of these candidates that Senator Menendez and Democrats have tried to scare people about are taking mainstream positions, and what they feel is that what's really extreme is what we see coming out of Washington, with almost double-digit unemployment, runaway spending and debt. And that's what they want us check...

CROWLEY: But do you think that...

CORNYN: ... and that's what we will do, and I think we'll be unified.

CROWLEY: Do you think that inside the Republican Party, this just sets up another wing that you're going to have to deal with, a division within the party?

CORNYN: Not at all. I think that by and large, the Tea Party movement has been constructive and helpful. It's helped reorient us to our limited government principles and one that believes in the free enterprise system rather than bigger and bigger government and higher and higher taxes and more regulation, which are job killers. So I think -- I think it's been constructive. But now that the primaries are over, we're all unified and focused on our Democratic friends on November the 2nd, and I think they're going to be surprised with the enthusiasm and intensity of the vote going into November 2.

MENENDEZ: I want to...

CROWLEY: Go ahead.

MENENDEZ: I don't think -- I don't think -- I'm not scaring anybody, unless when you use a candidate's own words, they may be scary. When Sharron Angle in Nevada says, "It's not my job as a U.S. senator to try to help create jobs in Nevada; when Ken Buck questions the constitutionality of Social Security and wants to end Medicare; when Ron Johnson in Wisconsin wants to drill in the Great Lakes, those aren't my words. Those are their words.

And when Christine O'Donnell, you know, has positions that are clearly out of the mainstream, which we didn't know about -- you know, in her interest in witchcraft, you know, until 30-something days ago -- those aren't my words. Those are their words.

So I think that these candidates, the problem for the Republicans is that these candidates are out of the mainstream of where their general electorate is at.

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