July 20th, 2010
04:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Roskam on liberal agenda: 'Heaven help us'

Republican Reps. Peter Roskam, left, and Kevin McCarthy, right, spoke Tuesday about a GOP initiative that allows the public to weigh in on agenda items.
Republican Reps. Peter Roskam, left, and Kevin McCarthy, right, spoke Tuesday about a GOP initiative that allows the public to weigh in on agenda items.

Washington (CNN) – With less than four months until voters go to the polls in this year's midterm elections, one of two House Republicans charged with developing a positive GOP agenda sounded a warning Tuesday about what he sees as the temptations inherent in the liberal agenda.

Invoking the Old Testament story of Esau and Jacob, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Illinois, said the American public should not be taken in at a time of need and vulnerability by what "the political left" is offering.

In the Bible tale, Esau, as the older of Isaac's two sons, was in line to receive an inheritance from his father. But, in a moment of hunger after returning home from a trip, Esau gave up that birthright to his younger brother Jacob in exchange for a pot of stew.

"Today the political left is coaxing the American people and the American people are hungry," Roskam said at the Heritage Foundation's weekly gathering of conservative bloggers. "They're uncertain. They're in ground that they have never been on before. They're seeing an economy that is one of the scariest things that they've seen in a long time. They see the United States and our role in the world being challenged here, there, and elsewhere. And they are uncertain."

Roskam likened the public in the current economic and political environment to Esau in the Old Testament.

"And the political left is saying 'Just give us your birthright. Just trade it in and we'll give you stability.' Well, Heaven help us if we make that deal. Heaven help us if we give a birthright of freedom and opportunity and entrepreneurship and national strength and goodness. If we just squander that – for what? For people – entrusting it to people who can't pass a budget. Are you kidding me? That's a raw deal," the Illinois Republican said, making a reference to the fact that Democrats in Congress have missed the traditional deadline for producing the next federal budget.

Roskam, a House Republican deputy whip, was joined at the Heritage Foundation event by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, the chief deputy whip of the House Republican Conference.

In the run-up to the midterms, the two men have been charged by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, with developing the House GOP's positive agenda for governing. The project has been likened to Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America," which House Republicans unveiled prior to the 1994 midterm election where the GOP retook control of the House and the Senate during the last Democratic administration.

McCarthy said Tuesday that the GOP agenda will include legislation and is likely to touch on job creation, federal spending, governmental reform, health care, and national security.

House Republicans recently launched an initiative called "America Speaking Out" that allows the public to log on to a website and submit ideas for the agenda.

Roskam said the "America Speaking Out" initiative fits well with the public's concerns about the policies of national Democrats.

"The public has the sense that the majority has completely squandered the goodwill that was entrusted to them," said Roskam.

He added, "The mask is off of this liberal agenda – no pretense of moderation – and people are just recoiling from it. Saying 'That's not what we signed up for. That's not what we were promised in November of 2008.'"

And Roskam also had a warning for Democrats on Capitol Hill how might try to pass more of their proposals in a lame duck session if they lose control of the House in November's voting.

The Illinois Republican said voters would not soon forget such lame duck legislating.

"The Democratic Party wouldn't live that down for years and year and years," Roskam said. "It would haunt them."


Filed under: 2010 • GOP • Kevin McCarthy • Peter Roskam
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. lucy

    Here's a biblical story for you. The story of the two women who came to Solomon quarrelling over the same child. The mother was deemed to be the woman willing to lose the child rather than cut it in two. When George Bush's election went all the way to the supreme court, Al Gore stepped back, for the good of the country. Post 9/11, democrats supported Bush, for the good of the country.
    Now Barack Obama wins an election, fair and square, and all republicans want is to take back their country, or see it fail.
    Now, i ask you, whose country is it really?

    July 20, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Len Smith

    There is no Liberal agenda, who are these people kidding, except themselves. If there was a Liberal agenda we would be far better off as a country

    July 20, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. rob

    Just look at the posts here, the Dems are in panic mode. The viscious, hatefull things that are said here is an example of what the Dem party wants; a completely ignorant electorate. The things being said here are straight from MSNBC, Daily KOS, Move-On etc. Its all about HATERED of anything with which they disagree or don't understand.

    July 20, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. linus

    So this guy has been "charged with developing a positive GOP agenda," and the best thing he can come up with is "God save us from the Democrats". What else needs to be said?

    July 20, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Dano

    No Mr. Roskam, heaven help us if we EVER let the GOP run the country into the ground again. Oh sure the wealthiest Americans got a good deal from your guys but the other 95% of the country are just trying to survive the aftermath of your ultra conservative agenda.

    July 20, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. rjolay

    I believe that this story refers to a tale in which Abraham's Jewish son swindles his Arabic son out of his birthright??
    This is a new low for Repubs... they just get more and more desparate.
    Leave the Bible quoting to real men and women of their respective religions, please! Politicians are ' just for show ' .

    July 20, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. Duane Bernard, Tucson, Az

    Jesus said "there will be many coming in my name ..... beware"

    The Republican Party is the type of people Jesus was warning us about.

    July 20, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. LouAz

    Religious myths and fairy tales have no place in Government. No one will be struck by lightening if they do not vote for a Flat Earth Republican. But some are still trying to scare their children. You betcha !

    July 20, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    These Republicans are so darn dumb!

    FDR and the New Deal programs took our country out of the Great Depression and ushered in the longest economic expansion (40 years) in our nation's history, creating a vibrate and successful Middle Class.

    Republican voodoo Reaganomics have taken budget surpluses and turned them into deficits; overseen financial scandals like the S&L crisis; waged war while cutting taxes; and in general, made the rich richer and the Middle Class shrink.

    It'd be one thing for Republicans to argue the facts, but they don't because they all know THEIR POLICIES ARE PROVEN FAILURES!

    So they resort to fear-mongering, preying on people's faith and fears and ignorance of others.

    GOP = Totally Pathetic

    July 20, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. moderateray

    Roskam is a hack but McCarthy is better and smarter than this. Sad to see Kevin marching to the far right.

    July 20, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Lucas Breen

    Exactly what makes this "news"?

    July 20, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Victim of GOP Taliban

    STOP the insanity and citing the Lord's name to score your twisted agenda! Shame on the Puritan Fundamentalists and their Mormon leader Slick Mitt that are a bunch of pretentious phonies.

    July 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    if by "us" you mean the rich corporations that are squeezing every ounce of sweat and out of America while destroying it from within...

    then YES, HEAVEN HELP YOU

    You want to go back to Republicans so we can still debate stem cell research and flag burning, while they threaten another country that has done nothing to us???

    Republicans offer NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, they are running on a "stall the Democrats" agenda, that is dangerous...for everyone

    July 20, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    When I want a fairytale I'll read the Bible, until then, I'll live by the constitution and my Liberal wicked ways...

    July 20, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    BTW...if you don't understand the relativity argument...here's a simpler way to put it:

    When you are not in control and the other party is a gaggle of compromising capitulators who never stand up and slap you in your proverbial face for acting like nutjobs, the best thing you can do is just go even more whackadoo. Move to the very extreme of your party's ideology and spout the dogma loudly and incessantly...join your lunatic fringe in the kiddy pool...BECAUSE THAT WILL SHIFT THE APPEARANCE OF WHERE THE CENTER LIES.

    Why? There's a whole buttload of people in this country who think automatically aiming for the center is a mark of enlightenment. It's a grand game of capture the "independents." It's far easier to always aim for what you perceive as the middle and compromise between two groups you're convinced are both extremisats...easier than thinking objectively about facts and evidence and expert opinions, etc., that you have to research yourself because the great majority of "news" media outlets refuse to debunk anything either extreme says for fear of appearing to lean one way or the other.

    July 20, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Muffet

    Don't bring heaven into your disgusting politics. God did not instill the spirit of fear, hate and greed in humans when he created us. That is satan's specialty.

    July 20, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Jim

    Hmmm... Let's try this quote from the Bible: "You shall know them by their fruits." Republican fruits? Wars, Corruption, loss of civil rights, economic catastrophe, debt, and now, hypocrisy and race baiting.

    July 20, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Johnny B

    Sort of funny coming from Republicans, who sell themselves out to Wall street, Big Oil and Coal, Big Business, and anyone else who has big pockets to fund the enslavement of everyday Americans.
    The rich get richer...

    July 20, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Larry

    I think the Republican party plays spin the bottle to see who's up next to make an effort to lie about Obama, and how well they themselves are doing

    Kinda like part of the Republican routine is to look in the mirror every morning and repeat to themselves

    We Are Going To Win In November, We Are Going To Win In November, We Are Going To Win In November

    We Are, We Are, We Are going to win in November

    They must have to brush the dust off these political nobody's, before they send them out with the Republican talking points(lies) in their hands

    This is what Desperation looks like folks

    And these guys are as desperate and despicable as it gets

    July 20, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. JonDie

    Roskam on liberal agenda: 'Heaven help us'

    So typically of the GOP: Stone Age solutions for 21st century problems.

    July 20, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Shelly

    What a bunch of dumbos???? We were called "unpatriotic" by these crazy folks when we protested the trillion dollar Iraq war. (their nutty agenda). Now suddenly they are worried about what is happening in America. What a joke? If they are not in power, they act like spoiled brats. Waaaah!!!

    July 20, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. Peter E

    We are still waiting for that great republican 'alternative' plan. Remember their alternative to health care reform? It was a 3 page outline, 80% of which was lifted from the Obama plan. Great alternative! Their stimulus proposal was also similar. Once again, great alternative! As for the rest of their great new plans? They are verbatim the same as their plans have been for the past decade... Yes, the same agenda that got us into this recession in the first place! Yes, I'm sure the American people want to return to those old plans and see even bigger messes made. Great plans, republicans!

    July 20, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Peter s

    Sir ! a simple question for you! economically why are we in this State is it Gods will or GW BUSH, Cheney, and Rove?. Or you want us to belive that the Republicans are the God sent saviors!. I have a piece of information for you! God is not like a jacket you wear according to the weather! or when its convinient for you. God loves all in America whether liberals or conservatives!

    July 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. Angi's mom

    This rambling fool must think Americans are stupid.

    July 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Refudiate

    The best they can go now is get down on their knees and pray that Democrats can't give the public "stability"? And I thought NOV was going to be a problem ... oh wait just windbag pundits sayin gthat

    July 20, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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