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DeLay: I'd call it a 'Texas whupping,' that's for sure

Ron Brynaert
Published: Wednesday November 8, 2006

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Appearing on MSNBC's post-election coverage this morning, Tom DeLay, the former Republican House Majority Leader said that his party had suffered a "Texas whupping."

The former Republican leader resigned from Congress earlier this year after being indicted for allegedly violating campaign finance laws and amid reports of links to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. In the race for his seat, Democratic challenger Nick Lampson handily defeated his Republican opponent, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who ran as a write-in candidate since DeLay's name was still on the ballot.

MSNBC host Rita Cosby asked DeLay if he'd call the results, which put the Democratic Party in control of the House and in contention to control the Senate, an "avalanche, 'Black Tuesday,' or a political tsunami."

"Well, Rita, I'd call it a 'Texas whupping,' that's for sure," DeLay said with a chuckle. "The Republicans really took a bath last night."

But DeLay believes that the Democrats didn't win as much as "the Republicans lost."

When asked what went wrong for the GOP, DeLay said he thought "over the last couple of years we just played not to lose" and that "we didn't fight for the things that we really believe in."

"I think fundamental tax reform, redesigning government, winning the war on terror, a strong immigration policy, turning around the culture of death, stopping an overactive judiciary, none of that was articulated to the American people," DeLay said. "And the Republicans teamed up with the independents and dumped on their incumbents."

Citing exit polls which "show that an astounding three-fourths of those polled said corruption and scandals played a key role in their vote," Cosby asked, "Were the Republicans just too tainted after issues of Bob Ney, you and especially Mark Foley?"

"Well, the Democrats had, with help from the national media -- did a very good job of pointing out the corruption of Republicans," DeLay responded.

DeLay insisted that he was innocent of the charges that he has previously referred to as the result of a Democratic "witch hunt."

"In my case, I haven't been found guilty of anything," DeLay said. "In fact, I've been indicted on laws that didn't exist."

While DeLay said he was "personally disappointed" that a Democrat won his vacated seat, he said the "saving grace is Nick Lampson's going to be a one-term congressman," due to the fact that Sekula-Gibbs received more votes in her special election than Lampson did yesterday.

DeLay doubted that Democrats would be able to work in a bipartisan manner with Bush, explaining, "I know Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the only way that they're going to work with the president is if the president capitulates to them."

"So it's -- and a closely divided Senate means not much is going to get done for the next two years," DeLay predicted.

"What you're going to see is investigation, defunding the war and raising taxes by -- because they can raise taxes by doing nothing -- (chuckles) -- and let the tax extensions expire," DeLay continued. "So that's probably what you've got to look forward to in the next two years."