Republican Outreach

Were congressional Republicans invited to speak at 50th anniversary of the march on Washington? Did they decline those invitations? We have answers today.

According to Roll Call, both Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declined invitations to speak at the event. And for Eric Cantor’s part, there’s much more to the story.

Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House’s two most senior Republicans, were invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington — but declined. [...]

Cantor, meanwhile, was asked 12 days ago to participate in Wednesday’s event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, according to an aide. The Virginia Republican, however, is currently traveling in North Dakota and Ohio, touring energy sites with Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and participating in “nonofficial events,” according to an aide.

What were those nonofficial events Cantor decided to attend instead of the 50th anniversary?

Evidently, Cantor was touring the state with oil lobbyists.

Rather than attend the event, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) instead met with oil and gas lobbyists in North Dakota, where he toured drilling sites in the North Dakota Bakken. According to the Grand Forks Herald, Cantor met with members of the lobby group, North Dakota Petroleum Council.

Meanwhile, over on the Right a big stink was made out of Representative Tim Scott supposedly not being invited to the 50th anniversary, but we learned today that he was, in fact, invited and that he declined.

[B]ased on an email exchange obtained by CQ Roll Call, the South Carolina Republican did receive an invitation to attend the festivities commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The invitation, sent Aug. 8 from the Coalition for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, appears to have been a form letter to all members of Congress, with invitees listed as “Representative” rather than by name.

Within a day, Rachel Shelbourne, a staff assistant to Scott, had replied to the email with the following message:

“Thank you for extending to Senator Tim Scott the invitation to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28th. Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting.”

Invitations sent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) reportedly went unanswered as did follow-up phone calls to their offices.

Republican outreach continues.

  • mrbrink

    Touring with oil lobbyists is what they do best– because jobs and freedom will always be provided by giving more wealth to oil corporations. Full employment and freedoms are just around the corner and down that dark ally.

    Anyway, I think Glenn Beck’s sweater is officially Right wing America’s new MLK after restoring their honor three years ago.

  • Schneibster

    They’re not going to MLK events because we elected a black President.

    And it makes them shake they’re so mad.

  • HilaryB

    Both Presidents Bush were invited also but declined due to health reasons. I wonder if Billo will correct himself.

    • HilaryB

      I don’t know why I brought that up. We’re talking about Congress…..I’m glad tomorrow’s Friday.

      • I’m glad you did. As much as I don’t care for either Bush, I do honestly believe that they would have liked to have been there yesterday. That just shows you how far down the rabid hole the GOP has gone since 2008. And now, that was not an autocorrect or typo there lol.

        • muselet

          George W. Bush issued a reasonably graceful statement, so full points to him for that.

          On the other hand, according to Steve Benen today:

          Former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were invited, but poor health kept them away. That said, former Gov. Jeb Bush was invited to represent his family, and he turned down the invitation, too.

          Jeb Bush couldn’t spell “class” if you spotted him all the consonants.


  • Victor_the_Crab

    But, but, but… MLK was a Republican. He was on their side. Only DemocRATS have a history of racism. WTF?!!

  • Richard_thunderbay

    GOP “outreach” consists of conducting a smear campaign to pin the blame for your absence on other people.

  • KarenJ

    Isn’t it odd how many folks WERE able to clear their calendars and attend/give the speeches yesterday, including thousands of spectators, some very busy Obama administration people, and noteworthy celebrities and former politicians?

    Typical Democrat, or patriotic American: “You’ve got this celebration at the Lincoln Memorial coming up in 20 days? Let me see what my calendar says…..I can move several appointments I have to another day, and my travel plans can include a stop in Washington D.C….no problem, I’ll be there!”

    Typical GOP or Tea Partier, or Obama hater: “I’m busy”….”I’m out of town”….”I have appointments that day”….”My dog is sick”….[phone call goes to voice mail]…”F you”….

  • formerlywhatithink

    Yet Bill O’Reilly was complaining no Republicans were invited. The right wing echo chamber continues unabated.