Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 16, 2010

NOT TONIGHT, REPUBLICANS, BILL FLORES HAS A HEADACHE.... If Republicans are going to take the House, they're going to have to win races like the one in Texas' 17th congressional district, a center-right district represented by Democrat Chet Edwards. At this point, millionaire oil executive Bill Flores (R) appears well positioned to win, despite Edwards' exceptional career.

But before Flores celebrates, he may want to take some Advil.

The Central Texas district is home to a high percentage of seniors, which is why it seemed odd to see the GOP candidate adopt the right's controversial approach to undermining Social Security. Indeed, on Thursday, Flores explained in a television appearance that he's "not philosophically opposed to raising the retirement age" to 70. He added that he wants Social Security to be there for him, "and I accept the fact I may have to raise my retirement age for that."

The next day, Flores used a novel approach to try to walk back his own comments.

Republican congressional candidate Bill Flores, blaming a headache for a verbal miscue, has backed away from saying he's "not philosophically opposed" to raising the Social Security retirement age for future recipients. [...]

"Voters should be assured that I absolutely do not support raising the retirement age for Social Security," he said in a statement. [...]

Thursday, Flores, a retired oil and gas executive from Bryan, called program host Brad Watson and asked him not to air his response on Social Security because he had a headache during the interview and the remarks did not properly characterize his position.

I've been keeping an eye on quite a few campaigns this year, and I've seen some doozies when candidates get caught saying something embarrassing. Usually, they go with "that was taken out of context," even when it wasn't, or "I never said that," even when they did.

But Flores is breaking new, creative ground here. On Thursday, he was open to raising the retirement age; on Friday, he wasn't. The difference was ... a headache?

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, but like everyone else, I can think of times I've had headaches. Not once have they caused me to forget the basics of my own political ideology.

In a couple of weeks, if anyone's considering midterm-election awards, I think Bill Flores has wrapped up the "Most Laughable Excuse" category.

Steve Benen 11:10 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

I thought only republican women were permitted to have headaches.

Posted by: cwolf on October 16, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

AMAZING CONSISTENCY, but don't take my word for it, see for yourself.

Posted by: barfie on October 16, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Raise the Social Security retirement age?

Not this year, dear, I have a headache.

Posted by: Larry Reilly on October 16, 2010 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

We watched Edwards swat away many a right-wing God and country challenger over the years after re-districting. He ain't no progessive but he is the only Democrat to survive outside of the urban areas of Texas or Hispanic South Texas. Rare item indeed.

Posted by: xpatriate on October 16, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I remember when people claimed women couldn't handle positions of power out of concern for PMS moodiness. I guess this guy can't handle a position of power at all, since headaches can happen anytime.

Posted by: LindaW on October 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

"When President Obama and
Nancy Pelosi pressured Chet Edwards,

Chet stood up to them and voted
no against their trillion dollar
health care bill, and no
to Cap and Trade.

Chet votes with the conservative Chamber of Commerce
sixty-seven percent of the time.

And when Washington liberals
wanted to take away our guns,
Chet said no.

That's why
the National Rifle Association
has endorsed Chet Edwards
over Bill Flores.

I'm Chet Edwards, and I approve
this message."

What an exceptional career.

Posted by: square1 on October 16, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think what he meant was that he'd had an ischemic attack, which is a tiny stroke of the brain that some people get as they age.

Suffering from it obviously meant that he was momentarily incapable of lying about his actual beliefs so that he could elected.

Then again, I think LindaW's point above is absolutely spot on.

Posted by: Kiweagle on October 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Not tonight, darling, I have a policy gaffe!

Posted by: Anthony Damiani on October 16, 2010 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Thursday, Flores, a retired oil and gas executive from Bryan, called program host Brad Watson and asked him not to air his response on Social Security [...] -- Dallas News

And....? Did Watson agree to "redact" that part of the interview, or was the whole thing aired as recorded?

Posted by: exlibra on October 16, 2010 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the saddest part of this is that the Social Security retirement age does need to be raised, but both the GOP and the Dems are too afraid of the AARP to do anything about it.

Posted by: mfw13 on October 16, 2010 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with you square1; exceptional indeed. With Dems like this, who needs a headache?

Posted by: whichwitch on October 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

"headache" = "I got a piece of brain stuck in my head, but it's gone now."

Posted by: GP on October 16, 2010 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

re: mfw13

Really - raised? Why exactly - please be specific in the ecomonic effects and explain why the small tax increase that MIGHT be required to insure continued payment under the current scheme would ruin the US.

Also tell us what happens to people with jobs that require heavy physical labor that has pretty much ruined their joints and muscles - sometimes way before even the current retirement age.

Posted by: Butch on October 16, 2010 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Headache? More like an attack of hemorrhoids, which caused his headache, due to where his right-wing head is stuck.

Just get rid of the payroll tax collection cap, now, and Social Security will have more than enough funds through the end of this century...and we won't see seniors who spent their working lives putting money into their Social Security retirement fund getting shorted as they are now, with COLA increases being shelved since the Republicans almost crashed the U.S. and world economies in 2008, with paltry $250 checks being offered as a substitute, even though the Social Security surplus is huge and could be tapped temporarily to cover COLA increases.

I'm nearing retirement and it's obvious that Republicans and conservatives in general want the elderly middle-class and poor eating Cat Food, while the ultra-wealthy get the Fatted Calf with all the trimmings.

And many of the Republicans and conservatives behind this scheme dare to make the claim that they are "Christian." Really? How many of the seven deadly sins do these Republicans and conservatives have to embrace before American citizens and voters realize just how evil these Republicans and conservatives really are?

Posted by: The Oracle on October 17, 2010 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

when candidates get caught saying something embarrassing.

you mean telling the truth, which is in fact embarrassing for republicans because they are devoted to hiding their intentions for screwing the American people while enriching the plutocrats.

Posted by: pluege on October 17, 2010 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

The current Republican stance:

Lying in the defense of liberty is no vice.

Posted by: Marc on October 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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