Posted: 10:35 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Tom Price bows out of Southern fight for House GOP leadership 

By Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, has bowed out of race for House majority leader. AJC file

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, has bowed out of race for House majority leader. AJC file

Take a look at the current, soon-to-be juggled GOP leadership of the U.S. House: Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California.

None hail from the modern Republican foundation that is the Deep South. Which is why Pete Sessions of Texas has emerged as a rival to McCarthy in the quick contest to replace Cantor, who was defeated in Tuesday’s primary.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogU.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, bowed out this morning. A statement just released by his office:

“The encouragement I’ve received from colleagues over these past couple of days has been humbling…. [A]t this time, my focus is on the opportunity to serve as the next chairman of the House Budget Committee.”

Which explains Price’s absence from a Washington Post article that includes this:

Conservatives, long suspicious of a leadership team dominated by five lawmakers from states President Obama won twice, are adamant that this is their opportunity to plant someone they consider more ideologically aligned with them in at least one of the top three slots.

Southerners, who had a stranglehold on top GOP leadership posts in the 1990s, are also trying to solidify ranks to ensure they get a prime seat at the table.

“I just think that there is a geographical area of the country that has not been represented in leadership, and I think that could be the determining factor in what happens,” said Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.).

***

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in Congress and has served as a symbol of outreach for the GOP. But was Cantor ousted by voters because of his religion? Here’s the reply from the New York Times:

The answer to that, political analysts and Jewish leaders in Richmond say, is no: Mr. Cantor, who resigned as House majority leader on Wednesday, effective July 31, was toppled because voters saw him as out of touch. Mr. Cantor appeared to give a nod to the religion issue on Wednesday, when he opened a news conference by saying that “growing up in the Jewish faith” he had “read a lot in the Old Testament, and you learn about setbacks.”

But analysts do say that Mr. Brat — who has a divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and often invokes God in his speeches — appeals to Christian conservatives in a way that Mr. Cantor simply cannot.

“I think he was able to be an attractive candidate to that particular constituency,” said Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “Cantor doesn’t employ that kind of rhetoric.”

***

We told you Wednesday that Eric Cantor’s defeat quickly rippled into the GOP runoff to replace U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, with Savannah surgeon Bob Johnson accusing state Sen. Buddy Carter of Cantor-like Republican liberalism.

Carter forces have struck back, accusing Johnson of harboring a vestige of good will toward illegal immigrants. From Walter Jones of the Morris News Service:

“Johnson campaigned on policies that reward and promote illegal immigration just like amnesty does, and then he signed a pledge of a contradictory position. So, which time was he telling us the truth?” ask Carter, who signed the same pledge first.

Johnson’s name is the latest one appearing in a list of candidates who have signed a pledge on the website for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The political hopefuls vow to oppose “any form of work authorization to illegal aliens.”

But he has twice been recorded by Carter’s operatives saying he favors a way for undocumented aliens to work and pay taxes.

The Carter campaign provided us a clip of Johnson’s remarks — the video is muddy, but the audio is sharp:

UPDATE 1:39 p.m.: Johnson spokeswoman Maria Jeffrey struck back, saying Carter does not have any solution at all:

“Dr. Bob has consistently said, ‘no to amnesty’ and ‘no to a path to citizenship,’ and also wants those currently here illegally counted and accounted for so they’re not milking off the system. What’s Carter’s plan? He has none. The fact is Buddy Carter is an ethically challenged, establishment professional politician, with a liberal voting record, who refuses to support term limits in Congress. And the people will have a clear choice in this run-off between conservative outsider, Dr. Bob Johnson and Buddy Carter who has been too liberal for too long.”

***

Georgia Republicans are telling us that, if there’s a lesson to be learned from the defeat of Eric Cantor, it’s that gerrymandering can go too far. Cantor’s Virginia district was tweaked in 2010 to make it more conservative. That benefited the House majority leader in 2012, but then punished him with deadly opposition from the right.

The practice of packing of districts, whether on the state or federal level, makes this new report from the Pew Research Center all the more relevant:

Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades. These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. And a new survey of 10,000 adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process.Some chartage:

pewchart

Another taste of the report:

In 1994, hardly a time of amicable partisan relations, a majority of Republicans had an unfavorable view of Democrats, but just 17% expressed a “very unfavorable” view. Today that figure has more than doubled to 43%. Among Democrats, the share expressing a “very unfavorable” view of Republicans has increased from 16% to 38%.

…With Barack Obama in the White House, intense partisan antipathy is more pronounced among Republicans, especially consistently conservative Republicans. Fully 66% of consistently conservative Republicans think the Democrats’ policies threaten the nation’s well-being. By comparison, half (50%) of consistently liberal Democrats say Republican policies jeopardize the nation’s well-being.

***

Six Georgia nominees for positions in the federal judiciary — the ones who aren’t state Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs — won’t get a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. That’s been postponed until next week.

***

Intrepid AJC intern Nick Fouriezos took Rep. Jack Kingston up on his offer to release his tax returns.

We already knew thanks to his federal financial disclosures that the Savannah Republican was worth somewhere between $2.18 million and $3.19 million. The tax records filled in some of the blanks.

Among the findings:

  • His gross income has remained between $148,000 and 163,754 in the last five years.
  • Kingston has owned a trio of Savannah-area rentals since at least 2008, but they haven’t done well for him. He reported a net loss of $405 in rent expenses on the properties, as of the time of the 2012 filin
  • His effective tax rate ranged from a low of 13.76 percent in 2008, which was also his lowest year in taxable income, to a high of 16.88 percent in 2012, when he had his highest taxable income.

***

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville is one of three House Republicans who did tours in Iraq and are now looking askance at the uprising there. From the National Journal:

And none of the congressmen thought there was much the United States could do.

“I think at this point the administration made a choice to cut and run,” Collins said. “When Fallujah fell again, we knew this foreign policy had consequences. Aside from an intervention, which I don’t think is on anybody’s mind, Iraq is going to have defend for itself. At this point we’ll see if the Iraqi security forces are capable.”

Fallujah fell to militants in January. The city was taken by U.S. forces in late 2004 at the cost of more than 100 American soldiers’ lives, the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War.

***

The 11th District GOP will host a Saturday, pre-Fathers Day debate between Republican runoff candidates Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk, the two survivors in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta.

The hostilities at the Bailey Performance Center on the Kennesaw State University campus begin at 6:30 p.m. Moderators will be Randy Evans, a Georgia member of the Republican National Committee, and Joe Kirby of the Marietta Daily Journal.

***

Speaking of the 11th District runoff: Bob Barr has picked up an endorsement from Kim Gresh, who chaired the congressional campaign of Tricia Pridemore. Gesh pointed to the local Lockheed operation as her motivation. From the press release:

“The single largest employer in our district is Lockheed – only Bob Barr has a proven track record of not only protecting but expanding Lockheed jobs. More than this, there are hundreds, if not thousands of businesses that exist only because the presence of Lockheed and Dobbins.”

***

More than a few Democrats have pointed out a seeming incongruity in the Republican Governors Association ads slamming Jason Carter’s willingness to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The reason: The RGA’s head, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, backed a similar Medicaid expansion in his state.

***

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, is offering a nonbinding resolution condemning the Obama administration for the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap. Said Barrow:

“After receiving a classified briefing from the Administration, I disagree with how the Administration negotiated with terrorists for the transfer of terrorists we already had in custody. I’m concerned that they failed to follow the law to give proper notice to Congress. Checks and balances aren’t negotiable. Congress is ready to listen, and it’s critical that the Administration not treat Congress as an adversary or as an afterthought.”

Barrow was joined in the resolution by another endangered Democrat, West Virginia’s Nick Rahall, and a pair of more moderate Republicans, Scott Rigell of Virginia and Reid Ribble of Wisconsin.

97 comments
JohnBoy10
JohnBoy10

Only requirement for the job is to be a bona fide nut job - I guess being anti American, anti progress, and an on-the -take scum bag doesn't hurt either!  No problem finding a do-nothing Republican to fill this bill!

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

Remember the last time a republican occupied the Whitehouse? Dubya took a surplus and promptly turned it into a deficit. Bin Laden killed over 3000 Americans while Dubya was trying to read to 3rd graders. Then he lied about wmds , attacked Iraq killing tens of thousands of IRAQI CITIZENS. And his lie resulted in the deaths of over 5000 Americans and thousands more paralyzed, blind, missing limbs and mentally damaged. So why would America trust a republican again? WE seen what happens when theyre in charge.

N-GA-Online
N-GA-Online

Doug Collins is an idiot. Iraq was a miss-carriage from the very beginning. It wasn't worth almost 5,000 American lives and over 100,000 Iraqi lives. If Doug wants stability in Iraq, he can take some folks who think like him and go over there and occupy the country. But be sure he spends his own money to do it. Bush damn near bankrupted America with Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course his pals in Hallburton made out like bandits....making money on the bodies of American soldiers. As a veteran of more than 6 years of active duty, I am stunned by the opinions of Collins. He has learned nothing! 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Guess he realized his policies do not fit with main stream America so his chances were slim to none.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Looks like a 2 man race for the House Majority Leader job: 
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with the backing of Cantor, and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee who launched his campaign for majority leader by promising to be a voice for conservatives who have clashed with current leaders.

Whichever one wins, there will be shuffle lower down for vacated jobs.  Maybe a Georgian will fill one of those.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Notice how quickly Jim lends his column to smearing another Republican as pro-amnesty ... after striving to promote OTHER reasons for Eric Cantor's loss?

Few of with add up to much. 

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

There is going to be some GOP cry babies in GA too,  they too will be blindsided.

Enoch19
Enoch19

Typical liberal arrogance. Everyone who disagrees with the liberal establishment is "stupid" or "dumb".  I


Of course when you actually examine liberal policy and liberal results that the ones who are the dimmest bulbs tend to be lefties.  The rhetoric is tiring and boring but they never get tired of the same old song.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Not one word about the "None of the Above" winning the Democratic primary in the state of New Mexico?  How surprising from such a liberal rag as The AJC.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

1. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville is one of three House Republicans who did tours in Iraq, but none of them in uniform.


2. Why would Boehner or anyone else want to appoint Tom Price chairman of the House Budget Committee?  He has proven that he can't count, and know as much about budgeting as my pet rock!

honested
honested

At last, tom price shows some glimmer of 'leadership' by not being schooled in a leadership fight.


Still not qualified to be dogcatcher, but not as dense as I had assumed.

LostGoat
LostGoat

price "bows out" meaning he had no chance to get that job---he better be worried about reelection and quit catering to billionaires in DC

MoFaux
MoFaux

John Barrow can't even figure out whether he is a Democrat or Republican, and suddenly we're supposed to trust him to assess...well, ANYTHING?  I have to wonder what all of these armchair quarterbacks would be saying if Congress was told, then leaked to the press, and then saw a beheaded soldier as a result of their leak.

Charles50
Charles50

Really Tom, or did someone put a bug in your ear?  You weren't going to get that spot anyway.  But maybe we'll throw you a bone and make you Chairman of the House Budget--maybe.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Hey Jim, is the AJC making any effort to get Michelle Nunn's tax returns? And how much richer is she than she'd like to be perceived by voters?

Maybe MILLIONS?

honested
honested

@The_Centrist 

Hank Johnson?

Just adding levity, as I know it will have to be dimbulb republican.

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

@Enoch19 we remember conservatives policy when Dubya  was in office. we're still paying for his wars that he lied to get us into. are those the policies you conservatives tout?

Likewise
Likewise

I don't know what typical liberal arrogance you are referring to.  But your stupid or dumb because you don't have any ideas that go beyond talking points that translate into simple slogans.  Fix something for once.

DS
DS

@MiltonMan, Rachel Maddow gleefully reported that on her show. I guess some liberals have a sense of humor too.

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

@MiltonMan well if its not surprising , why are u acting surprised that AJC didn't mention it. and why do u come to this "liberal rag" everyday complaining? u must be bored

honested
honested

@The-Centrist 

tom price's "Let's Put The Insurance Companies Back In Complete Control Health Care Plan"

Brings a patriotic tear to the eye doesn't it.

honested
honested

@MoFaux 

They would just blame President Obama, the same way they do every day when the sun disappears.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@EdUktr Seeing someones tax returns will not tell us how "rich" they are.  You can have non-revenue producing assets in the millions.  Besides, Michelle has been a well paid executive for more than 25-years, so perception is only in the mind.

Charles50
Charles50

@EdUktr If her salary is in line with that of her colleagues what's the big deal?  It may actually be some ungodly amount, but that never bothers Reps if the person is one of their own.  You think that might be why the Koch Brothers prefer to BUY elections instead of running for office?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@EdUktr  More class warfare from the repuupy/tea baggies. Why do you hate successful people?

PSWallace
PSWallace

@lithoniaguy @MiltonMan "and why do u come to this "liberal rag" everyday"

I think it has something to do with the "Know thy enemy, know thyself" bit.

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

@DontTread @MiltonMan are u a murdering anti government conservative like the Millers? they were friends of the welfare rancher CLIVEN BUNDY the right wings darling.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@honested @MoFaux Correct!  They would say, "A REAL leader, or rather, a "decider", would have made the swap without notifying us, in order to save one of our soldiers.  Obama let this man die."

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

@AuntieChrist @EdUktr in their birther world, only white conservative Christian  heterosexuals work hard. Everybody else is on the "GUVMENT DOLE".

EdUktr
EdUktr

@lithoniaguy @EdUktr

Continually playing the idiot only makes readers think I'm paying you.

DontTread
DontTread

@lithoniaguy @DontTread @MiltonMan Lessee here... baseless accusations, third-grade name calling, straw men, deflection.  The full liberal playbook is on display today (well, just like any other day).

honested
honested

@MoFaux @honested 

Of course, that line of thought requires first forgetting it was the 'decider' that dug the hole in the first place.

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

@The-Centrist so 9/11 was Bushs' fault...how many died on 9/11? how many lives been saved by OBAMACARE? lol

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

This is a screen name stealing, liberal hypocrite sock puppet.  While it shows his/her lack of integrity and ethics, it also shows how far at least this one leftist will go with such "debate" tactics and those who won't condemn them.

Scum.

td1234
td1234

@lithoniaguy Dang if you are going to go for the insult the least you do is get it right and not look like an idiot.


WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant). You should also add straight male to the end to make sure every other group appears to be aggrieved. 

td1234
td1234

@lithoniaguy @The-Centrist So in your mind all these people that did not have Obamacare just died in the streets? 


How many of them just paid for their own insurance instead of buying another 6 pack or another I-Phone?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 I pay my own insurance, buy 12 packs and if I chose to buy whatever type of phone I want so what is your point?  What does my spending habits have to do with my opposition to the current occupant of the governors mansion? 

td1234
td1234

@lithoniaguy @td1234 The problem is you are not very good at the insult game. That DCCS education has let you down. 


I bet you are one of the kids that did not listen to the teachers, skipped to much school to get high or dropped out of school and now want to blame the school system for not educating you properly. 

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser Good for you and I wish you all the best and it is none of my business what you spend your money on. 


When I am paying for your insurance then what you spend your money on is my business when you are buying luxuries if I am paying your bills.  

honested
honested

@td1234 @lithoniaguy 

Are you convinced that you are somehow more intelligent than everyone who sees the giant holes in all of your misguided arguments?

td1234
td1234

@honested, I have often wondered about the intelligence level or motivational level of a person that would endorse the progressive/socialist/communist philosophy. For the life of me I can not figure out what would posse another human being to willingly want to and advocate for a government controlling and running their day to day lives and not caring that the harder they work the less money they would receive for their efforts. 


Maybe, you would like to explain this one for all of us? 

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

I put in my 60+ plus hours a week to serve my family, my customers and my community.

If all are stronger, what additional value does a few dollars carry?

td1234
td1234

@honested @td1234 Your point still does not explain why one follows a philosophy that wants to not let him/her keep his hard earned money and not have the ability to decide what causes he might want to give away his money too or allow him to give it to his children? 


Why does a person want to take "choice" away from everyone (with the exception of women that want to kill their babies)? 

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

Money assessed as taxation is no longer 'your' money. You are free to do with the remainder as you wish, nobody is infringing on that 'choice'.

Of course if we spent less money military imposing the will of a loud minority on the rest of the word, government wouldn't cost as much now would it?