New GOP Leadership Spin on Purge: 'A**hole Factor'
House GOP leadership has a new spin as of late Wednesday on why they purged conservatives from influential House committees: “It was an a**hole factor.”
Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a conservative himself but also a member of the House GOP steering committee, told Roll Call on Wednesday that the reason the steering committee removed those four members from their committee assignments was because of an “a**hole factor.”
“What I tried to explain to them was, it didn’t have anything to do with your voting record, a scorecard, your work across the street or anything else,” Westmoreland said regarding their purge. “It had to do with your ability to work within the system and to try to work. And to be, I guess, constructive in things. And I said, ‘I guess you could say it was an a**hole factor.’ Now I wasn’t calling any member in particular an a**hole, I was just trying to describe an environment where some people that you’re trying to work with, they just don’t want to work within the system.”
Later in the interview with Roll Call, Westmoreland tried to walk back his characterization of the conservatives House Speaker John Boehner purged from their committee assignments as “a**hole.”
“Maybe I should have used ‘obstinate factor,’” Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland also admitted publicly that a spreadsheet scorecard of certain votes that leadership deemed important was brought to the steering committee. But he claims the spreadsheet scorecard didn’t play a role in the decision-making process.
“Look, if we kicked people off of committees based on the information that was given, I wouldn’t be on an ‘A’ committee,” Westmoreland said. “There are several people in the steering committee that wouldn’t be on ‘A’ committees.”
Even though the new spin from GOP leadership is that they’re admitting a secret spreadsheet scorecard was involved – while claiming it had nothing to do with the process – they still won’t release the list.