Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is firing back against a liberal blogger, telling Breitbart Texas in an exclusive interview that the blogger’s headline was an “outright lie” and twisted his words about the abortion bill that recently failed in Congress to make it sound like he said the complete opposite of what he actually said.
In a conference call on Tuesday with conservative pastors led by Bishop E.W. Jackson, Gohmert discussed the late term abortion bill that had recently died in the House. The bill would have banned abortions after twenty weeks and included an exception in cases of rape, but required the woman to have reported the rape to authorities. This language became a sticking point, specifically with some female Republican members, and after some contentious debate, House leadership pulled the bill.
Later that day, liberal blog Raw Story posted a short recording, an excerpt of Gohmert’s comments on that call, along with a story by David Edwards titled, “Gohmert: ‘Our Republican females sent entirely wrong message’ by wanting rape exception to abortion ban.” According to Raw Story, Gohmert said that the Republican women in Congress “sent the entirely wrong message” by objecting to the language in the bill.
That is a misrepresentation, Gohmert told Breitbart Texas. He was clearly frustrated with the blogger Edwards, who he referred to as a “left-wing troll” who “wants to take anything a Christian says and twist it.” Gohmert explained that he was not attacking the female Republican members of Congress, but instead was criticizing the way House leadership had handled the bill and not allowed sufficient time nor opportunity for these women to have had input into the bill’s language. Edwards’ headline, said Gohmert, was nothing more than an “outright lie.”
Gohmert described some of the background around the bill and how it proceeded. House Leadership wanted to send a message to grassroots conservatives that the Republicans were “staunchly” against abortion and bring forward a bill “that set forth the beliefs of the entire Republican majority in the House,” said Gohmert. The anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and the annual March for Life attended by so many pro-life activists provided the perfect timing to bring such a bill forward.
The problem, according to Gohmert, was that the bill was brought forward with very little time to read and debate it. “Members should have had a chance to weigh in,” he said, arguing that they needed more than just a day or two before the vote. Gohmert would have preferred for the bill to have gone through regular order, allowed amendments, and sufficient time for debate.
“We always seem to get into trouble when we don’t follow regular order,” said Gohmert. With this bill, he and the other members “didn’t get the chance to have timely input.”
He emphasized again that his issue was with House Leadership who had not sought input from the rest of the members before trying to rush the bill through, not with any of the members who tried to provide that input. “I thought it was very unfortunate that they brought the bill to the floor without it having to go through regular order,” said Gohmert, “and unfortunate that they pulled the bill on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, and unfortunate Republican women were put in a position at the very last minute…it really wasn’t fair to any of those involved.”
“I have nothing but respect for the females in our conference,” continued Gohmert, noting that he disliked how they were put in this position, where they were criticized and some were even blaming them for the bill’s failure. Not so, said Gohmert. “My issue is with leadership, not the other Members.”
Accordingly, explained Gohmert, it was the House leadership’s decisions to allow such little time to debate the bill and then to pull the bill that “sent the entirely wrong message.” Gohmert also pointed out that Edwards had only posted a short excerpt from his remarks, but regardless, there was enough there on the portion that Edwards did post to show that he was referring to leadership.
This was not the first time that Gohmert had criticized House Leadership on this specific point. In another interview with Breitbart Texas earlier this month, Gohmert criticized Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) for breaking earlier promises to allow bills to proceed through a regular order through committees and to allow time to properly read bills.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.