The Swarm

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November 18, 2008
Lungren weighs in on auto industry bailout and leadership fight

Newly re-elected Congressman Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, was on MSNBC today talking about his challenge to unseat Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, as House Minority Leader.  The vote in the Republican caucus takes place tomorrow. 


The clip begins with an exchange on Republican opposition to a bailout of the auto industry.

I would describe it as a situation that is made for the laws that already exist. The bankruptcy laws in the United States, some of which I helped write over the years, provide exactly for this type of situation where reorganization is in the offing and where you attempt to try and reorganize so the company has the best chance of surviving in the new environment. That means that everything's on the table. Including the collective bargaining agreements that would not be on the table if Congress came in with a taxpayer bailout. That is a prescription for disaster. It will leave us with more jobs lost in the long run and frankly, will make us less competitive. 

Then moves on to the race for House Minority Leader:

If you look around the world at any parliamentary democracy or a democracy with a legislature such as ours, and they had suffered stunning defeats two years in a row, you would find the people at the top would step down and we would bring in new leadership.

It's the fault of our entire party, but he (John Boehner of Ohio) happened to be the leader. We ought to hold ourselves accountable and responsible. But more importantly, we have to figure out how to make ourselves understandable to the American people. We obviously didn't in the past. Part of that is we relinquished our title as keepers of the purse, that is, those seriously concerned about fiscal responsibility. That message has gone out. The Republicans failed on that issue. We have to recapture that issue and say the results of the last election did not shift this country from center-right to center-left. We have an obligation to stand up for center-right and show that the people are not for bigger government and bigger taxes, cutting the defense by 25 percent and things of that sort.

I have an outside chance to win. I've been very honest with everybody. I entered late because I thought it was necessary for us to show we're not a party of accommodation, of obstruction or a failed party. We're a party of new ideas. I want to lead us in that direction. At least I got a commitment from John Boehner. We have a full-scale debate for an hour and 15 minutes. I would have preferred three hours. This party needs to look itself in the mirror. I was afraid we were not going to do that. Most times, when you have a coronation, rather than a contest, that does not excite those within the party and it does not cause them to think deeply about where they are and where they need to go to lead the American people.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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