May 20th, 2010
07:50 AM ET
4 years ago

House Republicans grumbling over loss in PA special election

There was a lot of grumbling about the party’s loss in a special election Tuesday to fill the seat held by the late Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha.
There was a lot of grumbling about the party’s loss in a special election Tuesday to fill the seat held by the late Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha.

Washington (CNN) - Two Republican sources at Wednesday’s House GOP Conference meeting tell CNN that there was a lot of grumbling about the party’s loss in a special election Tuesday for the vacant House seat in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district.

Democratic candidate Mark Critz topped Republican Tim Burns by double digits in the battle to succeed the late Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha.

“People should be rumbling – members sure were,” said one of the sources.

Both sources, one a Republican lawmaker and one a senior GOP staffer, said National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions took responsibility for the loss and promised to study the results and learn the lessons of the Burns’ defeat.

Both sources said they did not believe there would be an effort to replace Rep. Sessions as chairman of the NRCC, but said it was made clear there is deep dissatisfaction.

The accounts also exposed anew long festering tensions or rivalries among House Minority Leader John Boehner and some of his deputies in the leadership. The two sources, both from the more conservative factions of the House GOP caucus, noted it was the Ohio Republican who tapped Sessions for the NRCC’s top post and said most of the NRCC’s top staff have ties to Boehner.

“In baseball, general managers can only fire so many managers before their own neck is on the line – and Boehner knows that,” was the take of one of the sources, the senior GOP staffer who was at the meeting.
The source also told CNN that the NRCC “has a lot of explaining to do and frankly, needs a proctology exam. People that are paid to win races can’t keep losing them – especially now, in what is supposed to be the most favorable election cycle for Republicans in a generation.”

A senior GOP leadership aide who was present at Wednesday’s meeting said that Boehner, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and GOP Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy all expressed support for Sessions prior to Session’s remarks before the gathering. The two top House Republicans also thanked Tim Burns for the campaign he ran, according to the leadership aide.

A message left with Boehner’s spokesman was not immediately returned.


Filed under: GOP • House • JKUSA • John King USA • NRCC • Pennsylvania • Popular Posts
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. john in Cal

    Fire them all. They are all losers. They all deserve pink slips like so many average Americans have gotten. And why should we pay their retirement after only 4 years in office? that's nuts.

    May 20, 2010 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  2. gary

    just wait until the public finds more about Rand Paul's views on the civil rights act!

    May 20, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  3. sb

    The press continues to harp on the fact that the Democrats will lose big in November, that may not be the case. This is the 2nd congressional race they've won this year in rather conservative districts. I'm disgusted with Congress like many people, but much of the blame goes to the obstructionist tactics of the Republicans who seem to want to leave everything as is when this will only make our country's problems worse and a couple of Democrats like Ben Nelson who seem to be Democrats in name only.

    May 20, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. Frank from Gilroy

    This race was underreported by the media. It is like the media is afraid to report on a GOP loss these days so there not seen as left leaning. The GOP got killed in what should have been a slam dunk if you listen to the GOP BS. The GOP has got real problems with the American public. And they need to be aware of it. They should not be telling everyone they are the next coming when they do nothing but spread hate, monger fear and lie and misinform with each breath.
    They have also shut down Congress by filler busting every bill after they spend an eternity negotiating on them. The GOP is a corporatist organization setting out to destroy the bottom 95% of the American electorate. They broke the country and they don't want the other party to fix and they are doing every dirty trick in the book to make sure it doesn't get fixed.

    May 20, 2010 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
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