Shortly after the indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex) was announced, CBS News’ Gloria Borger did a report on the possible impact of this incident on the current and future political landscape. Borger made it quite clear that this was very bad news for George W. Bush as well as House Republicans while suggesting that this will put more seats in play in the upcoming mid-term elections. Borger also referred to questions surrounding Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn), as well as Karl Rove, suggesting that this adds to the Democrat talking point of “Abuse of Power.” And, she managed to bring up the president’s sinking poll numbers as well.
What follows is a full transcript of this report and a video link.
“There’s really no question that this is a real negative for both House Republicans and the president. The House Republicans that I spoke with today who met with Tom DeLay said that in fact he was very reserved about this, and he wasn’t interested in revenge, and he wanted to make sure that the House Republican caucus continued to function.
“But, on the other hand, they’re nervous because Democrats have been talking about something they call ‘the abuse of power’, and of course this DeLay indictment fits into the abuse of power. There have also been questions about other Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, including Karl Rove, a top aide to the president over at the White House. And, they’re afraid that this plays into that political talking point for the Democrats.
“But the House Republicans I also talked to said something even more interesting, and that is that they are much more worried about the president’s low poll numbers than they are worried about Tom DeLay. They say this is more than a year before the next election, but the president’s poll numbers are affecting them in their districts. And they are now saying privately that they believe that 70 House seats will be in play in the mid-term elections as opposed to the 35 that they thought they were originally going to have to defend. So that’s a real issue for them as well.
“In any case, in the wake of this indictment, Republicans are going to caucus, get somebody to replace Tom DeLay. They say he will continue to be a major player in the Republican party, and that the president does need him because if the president wants to get any through legislatively, Tom Delay will still be his guy.”