March 2nd, 2010
05:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Bunning's abrasive behavior spans careers

 Baseball Hall of Famers Sen. Jim Bunning, right, and Robin Roberts appear at a 2009 MLB World Series game.
Baseball Hall of Famers Sen. Jim Bunning, right, and Robin Roberts appear at a 2009 MLB World Series game.

Washington (CNN) - GOP Sen. Jim Bunning is standing alone - much like a baseball pitcher on the mound - as he continues to block a measure that would extend cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed.

The Kentucky Republican, who is retiring at the end of this term, argues that he doesn't oppose extending the programs; he just doesn't want to add to the deficit.

CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger, who spoke with a Republican in the Senate, said members of the GOP feel Bunning "has the right idea" in questioning how the extension would be paid for, but think "it is the wrong fight for them to wage right now."

The fear from many Republicans, Borger noted, is that it plays right into the Democrats' narrative that Republicans are obstructionists.

Bunning's views, Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said, "do not represent the majority of the Republican caucus." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Bunning's legislative tactics "terribly inappropriate" and "very out of line."

The tensions have seemingly taken a toll on Bunning, who is the first member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress.

Bunning, observers have noted, has a history of being abrasive.

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Filed under: Jim Bunning
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Anyway he can be voted out of the HOF? I am sure there are plenty of DOT employees and unemployed and uninsured Americans who would petition for it.

    March 2, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. Fitz in Texas

    "GOP Sen. Jim Bunning is standing alone".........No he isn't. Millions and millions of Americans support him and stand with him regarding not wanting to add to the deficit.

    March 2, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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