WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), the chief deputy whip who is running against Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) for the majority whip position, touted praise from President Obama in an “Obama Voters for Roskam” website in 2008 during his first reelection bid.
Roskam also released a flyer featuring a 2004 quote of Obama saying, “I am a member of the mutual admiration society with Senator Roskam. He is always terrific.”
However, Roskam left out the rest of Obama’s remarks.
“Having said that, have I said that he’s wrong? I love him, but he’s wrong,” Obama said during a debate concerning bill protecting workers’ overtime rights in March 2004.
At the time, Obama’s campaign team dismissed Roskam.
“While we’re pleased that Barack Obama continues to attract support from across party lines, he believes Congressman Roskam would continue President Bush’s failed policies and is supporting [Democratic candidate] Jill Morgenthaler for Congress,” Obama spokesman Justin DeJong told The Daily Herald in October 2008.
Roskam is competing against Scalise, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and Stutzman, a younger lawmaker with long odds whose candidacy is seen as an implicit rebuke from the right of the Roskam-Scalise candidacies.
According to Roll Call, Roskam’s pitch to members is that he will work to issue more stringent punishment to members who vote against GOP leadership. Specifically, Roskam would ban dissenting House members from the free weekly conference breakfast, deny them committee assignments, and stifle bills they brought to the House floor, the story said.
“There is a heroic majority here. There is a majority in our conference that wants to move forward and do great things, and I want to be a part of trying to bring that out and enable that,” Roskam said.
With only hours to go before the House GOP conference holds its leadership elections in the wake of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary upset, Roskam is also receiving criticism from an Illinois political action committee over local candidate endorsements he made in 2012 and 2013.
In November 2012 and March 2013, Roskam endorsed the Milton Township Republican Central Committee slate of candidates, several of whom were accused by the PAC, called For the Good Of Illinois, of misusing taxpayer resources.
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