Post’s Murray gives Guinta short shrift
NH Journal has covered both the criticism and the praise Republican Rep. Frank Guinta (N.H. – 01) has received after his first several votes in Congress on budgetary matters. We have no doubt that every decision Guinta has made in his short career as a Congressman has been difficult and that many of them with have consequences.
Nevertheless, in singling Guinta out as an example of a naïve politician who made grandiose promises only to discover life in Washington is harder than he thought, well, Shailagh Murrey does Guinta a disservice.
“During his campaign, Guinta ran on an undefined pledge to cut and then cut some more – ‘being a member of Congress today shouldn’t be about bringing money back to your community or your state or your district,’ he said last fall. Now that he’s beginning to define exactly what he meant, Guinta is confronting the perils of his promises,” writes Murray.
This is unfair to Guinta.
Guinta went further than most congressional candidates in defining where he would cut from the budget; further than any candidate we have ever seen, in fact. During the 2010 campaign Guinta released a long list of specific cuts he labeled “Franks Fifty.” Each day over a stretch of time over the campaign, Guinta itemized each proposed cut in a detailed press release. He campaigned on it and made it his central proposition to voters. It is simply inaccurate to say, “Guinta ran on an undefined pledge to cut then cut some more.”
We sense in Ms. Murray’s story a certain “boy aren’t these freshmen dumb” tone common among beltway press types. But it’s Murray who is acting out of ignorance here.
As we said, Guinta may face negative consequences for his votes to cut spending. But if that happens it will be because the voters’ attitudes have changed since November 2010, not because Guinta was naïve about what he was getting himself into.