Washington (CNN) - Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch fended off boos at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday when it came to his 2008 vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
In a question-and-answer session, an attendee asked Hatch, who is seeking reelection and will likely face a Tea Party-backed challenger, how he can call himself a conservative in light of the massive bank bailout he supported.
The question drew rousing applause and soon boos as Hatch defended his vote.
"At the time we were in real trouble," Hatch said to a crowd that was having none of it. "Heading for a depression."
Hatch reminded the crowd that the legislation was strongly supported by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
"I'll probably say I made a mistake voting for it," said Hatch. "I haven't made many mistakes in my Senate career and if you look at my record, you'll see that."
"What I hated about that bill, is that it didn't turn out to be what the Treasury Secretary said it would be," Hatch added.
Still, Hatch said if he was the "51st vote" to stem off a depression, he would gladly do it again, a comment that drew reluctant applause.
"I'm prepared to be the most hated man in this godforsaken city, in order to save this country, but I need your help," Hatch said.
The annual conference is attended by some 11,000 conservative activists and has become an early testing ground for potential GOP presidential candidates.
Mr Hatch has been around Washington DC too long.
He has a 100% crazy anti American conservative voting rating, and the right wingnut baggers want more? He has done enough damage to the country already, but to a conservative it is never enough.
Like in the 1930's, I am now confident that the republican party wanted another republican depression, only under Bush, and now the baggers will not support any candidate who voted to try to prevent it.
Careful Orrin, they do not have to check their guns at the door.
Hatch acted responsibly. Everything I read on the collapse suggested that without TARP, we would have seen an economic die-off beyond all imagination. The fact that he's being lambasted for that decision now shows the absolute lack of perspective within the Tea Party.
Hatch is a spineless coward who deserves to be booted out of office for that alone.
Thugs have no respect even for the old heros of their party. Out of only 11,000 narrow minded followers they couldn't weed out the disenters? How far has the party of social and political bullies fallen. WOW and the war crimials of "dumb and dumber" (Dick & Rummie) got booed too. Weak room I guess?
Before they boo him, they really need to ask did the Koch brothers benefit from the TARP vote? If so, they should get on their knees and kiss Senator Hatch's ring. Without that vote, the Koch brothers would have probably lost billions, like the Hunt brothers did in the 1980s! If the Koch brothers hadn't benefited from TARP, they would not have been able to fund the Tea Party which went around voting against everyone who saved the Koch family fortune!
Hell just froze over. Orin Hatch has been a nemeis of the Democratic party for many years. Yet I'm about to defend him, which puts in perspective how ridiculously off-balance and extreme many in the TP are. Though most top bank executives belong in jail, collapse of the banking system would have been catastrophic. It's the one thing the Bush Adm. got right (Hell just froze a little more). These idiot TP people.. of course we all want fiscal responsbility (so try cutting wars, and handouts to the obscene profit making industries.. oil and defense.. i.e. Cheney's pals), but don't launch us into anarchy. Only the worst despots profit from that. If you have a boil on hand, you don't cut off your hand.. you clean it. And, low and behold, those funding most of the TP's groundwar, got that money from the despicable practices of the banking industry.. ironic? And both the banks who were bailed out and the auto industry, are slowly, but surely paying it back. We'd all do better getting rid of profit barons like the Koch brothers. They'll steal your mothers house then purvey propaganda blaming it on Obama. And the idiot TPers eat it up.. raw, raw, raw.
The conservative right has no understanding of history or economics. If voters are dumb enough to support them, then we really are in the "evening of America," headed for another dark age where ignorance and superstition rule.
Sen.Hatch is wrong when he said,"I haven't made many mistakes in my Senate career and if you look at my record, you'll see that." Everytime he voted for trickle up effect he made a mistake, ..
Sure you could pander to these tea partiers and get their nod, but will the rest of the country do ? America is not the tea party, nor does it represent the majority. It does not even have representation from racial minorities, see how white that organization is? The tea party is group within the republican party, nothing else, and as such, will only repesent segment of their party as well.
["At the time we were in real trouble"]
So I decided to be the only RIGHT REBEL
We were definitely ["Heading for a depression."]
So I decided to VOTE but NOW I learned my lesson!!
[“…I made a mistake voting for it"]
BUT ["I haven't made many mistakes…”] just CHECK IT!
[“… if you look at my record, you'll see that"]
But I know I will FLIP-FLOP when I’m ATTACKED!!!
Hatch will lose anyway because he is a TRAITOR – He will be kicked to the curb and PUBS will see him LATER!!