Sometimes Congressmen say the darnedest things.
Toward the end of a heated debate with CNN's Carol Costello about the government shutdown and ObamaCare, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) brought up the media as part of the problem adding, "Carol, you're beautiful but you have to be honest as well" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
REP. TODD ROKITA (R), INDIANA: What we're fighting for at the end of the day, Carol, I don't know if you have children yet or sure you don't have grandchildren, you look much too young.
CAROL COSTELLO, HOST: Thank you.
ROKITA: We're fighting for them. Every child born today has $60,000 of debt assigned to them, their assignment of the public debt. And it continues to go on. It's not even the $17 trillion now, Carol. It's the $100 trillion that's on the way if we don't reform the way we do business here in Washington, and that's really what this fight's about.
COSTELLO: No, this fight's about Obamacare in your mind. It's not about reforming the system. You're not talking about reforming our tax system, or et cetera, et cetera.
ROKITA: Do you know how much this law is going to cost? It's an insidious law because it's a lie. It says it's going to be affordable.
COSTELLO: Do you know how much it costs every day the government is partially shut down? You're costing taxpayers millions and millions of dollars.
ROKITA: I understand that and ObamaCare is going to cost the children of tomorrow $2 trillion just over the next 10 years. So, Obamacare hurts this economy. ObamaCare hurts this country much more, much more than any government shutdown.
COSTELLO: Seriously, even, I mean, the debt ceiling fight is coming up.
ROKITA: Seriously, Carol. Seriously, Carol.
COSTELLO: Obamacare hurts the country worse than not raising the debt ceiling?
ROKITA: Seriously, Carol.
COSTELLO: Because that's not what a bunch of Wall Street bankers told the president yesterday.
ROKITA: Well, I had a lot of CEOs in my office yesterday and they didn't share with me the same vision that apparently some CEOs shared with the president, because, you know what? The CEOs that were in my offices yesterday were mothers and fathers and grandfathers and grandmothers as well.
And every generation, Carol, including ours, to date, has cared more about the future generation than ourselves. And if we don't change our ways, if we don't work together, if we don't get government spending under control, so we don't put more on our plate --
COSTELLO: We're not working together. We're not remotely working together.
ROKITA: Well, the one way we don't help the children of tomorrow is by putting $2 trillion more on their plate and that's what Obamacare spends over the next ten years. It's an insidious law. It's a lie. It is not providing more affordable health care. People are losing their health care.
COSTELLO: I think most Americans would say fight that fight separate from the federal budget. Don't partially shut down the government. Don't make things worse by fighting the same fight over and over --
ROKITA: But it is. Carol, we seem to go around in circles.
COSTELLO: Right, we're going in circles. Right. That's what you guys are doing.
ROKITA: No, you're part of the problem. The media is part of the problem as well.
COSTELLO: Oh, come on, that's so easy. That's so easy.
ROKITA: Oh, come on. Carol, you're beautiful but you have to be honest as well.
COSTELLO: OK, I think we should leave it here. Thank you so much for joining me, Congressman Todd Rokita.
ROKITA: See you, Carol
Now despite the possible sexism at play, Rokita had a point - one that Obama-loving media members such as Costello ignore.
This is indeed a budget battle. As conservatives view ObamaCare as a budget buster in the future, now is exactly the right time to have this battle.
After all, Republicans weren't allowed to participate in the creation of this legislation, and the Democrats forced it through without any GOP votes.
As it is now going into effect, it's extremely appropriate for a law that will indeed lead to greater budget deficits to be part of this budget debate.
If folks such as Costello would allow themselves to be honest about this subject rather than feeling they need to defend the President's signature piece of legislation at all costs, the discussion Americans would now be having would be far more informed.
Not surprisingly, Costello doesn't see it that way and said in a statement published by Politico:
Congressman Rokita seemed frustrated by my pointed questions about accepting a paycheck while hundreds of thousands of government workers are not getting paid. It seemed to me Congressman Rokita was trying to deflect these questions with “flattery.” At that point in the interview, it was obvious to me the interview was no longer valuable to my viewers. And, no, I do not think it’s appropriate for a sitting Congressman to use such tactics in any interview with a journalist.
Rokita issued the following statement:
At the end of a spirited and very important debate, I was simply keeping it from unnecessarily ending in an unfriendly or contentious way. I intended no offense to Ms. Costello.