Rep. Chaffetz Lies About His Colleague, Has Nothing To Say When Called Out

March 19, 2010 5:23 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), took to the House floor this afternoon to claim that his colleague, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) is exchanging his vote on health care reform for a job at NASA.  Chaffetz had no sources for the claim but said that the rumor of political horse trading had been "reported."

Gordon, the Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, is not seeking reelection in November and announced yesterday that he will voting for the health care reform.

Gordon came down to the floor to directly challenge Chaffetz and make it clear that he has neither been offered a job at NASA nor would he take a job at NASA if it were offered.  The rumor has not been reported, as Chaffetz put it, but seems to be a conspiracy theory in the conservative blogosphere

And we know what sort of outrageous arguments can be found there.

Gordon challenged his colleague to say where he had heard this claim and Chaffetz replied, "I have nothing to say." Normally, that would have been the end of it and Chaffetz would have apologized for attempting to smear his colleague's name.  But he didn't.

Gordon again asked Chaffetz where he had heard "this type of misinformation."  Chaffetz replied, "I think it's important that we pay attention to those types of things, this is doubt an emotional, deep debate." Gordon pressed him again to explain where he had heard this report.  Again, Chaffetz replied, "As I said, it's something we should be aware of, its something that we should pay attention to.  I think that's fair and we'll pay attention to it."

A while later, after Gordon again made it clear that the claim was false, Chaffetz said, "I have no reason to doubt your word." 

That raises the question.  Why make a claim that has no basis in the first place?