Scottie Likes It Both Ways

From Holden:

Calm down there, Jeff Gannon. When I say, “Scottie likes it both ways,” I’m referring to campaign donations generated by Jack Abramoff.

On Tuesday he was all like, “Democrats are too corrupt ’cause they got money from Abramoff or his pals.”

Q Scott, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff has pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption and tax evasion here in the federal court in Washington. Already the DNC has put out a statement essentially saying that this is another example of what they are calling the “culture of corruption and abuse of power” that has been the hallmarks of the Bush administration. Any response?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’ve seen press reports that indicate that he has — he and his clients have given to both Democrats and Republicans. So that’s the first thing that I would say.

Of course we all know Abramoff himself did not give one red cent to any Democrats, although his clients did. Yesterday Scottie repeated the claim that any donations associated with Abramoff are dirty.

MR. McCLELLAN: And I would remind you, too, that — what I said yesterday, because this is an individual who has donated money from himself or his clients to Democrats and Republicans alike. That’s based on press reports; press reports have shown that, that significant amounts have been contributed to both Republicans and Democrats alike.

Yet when pressed for an answer as to why the Chimpy/Cheney campaign had decided to donate to charity only those funds directly contribued by Abramoff Scottie turned into a sputtering sweatball.

Q Scott, Abramoff raised more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign, and the campaign has given back, like, $6,000. Why aren’t they giving back more?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you might want to talk to the RNC to get the specifics. That’s my understanding, is that Mr. Abramoff and his wife, and a tribal interest that he represented had contributed that money. And this is keeping — consistent with past practice of the campaign. If people are involved in wrongdoing, they return that money that that person contributed, or donate it to a specific charity. In this case, I understand that they’re going to be donating that money to the American Heart Association.

Q But you don’t think the rest of the money that he brought in —

MR. McCLELLAN: Are you suggesting that there are others that were involved in wrongdoing? If you want to bring that to my attention, and I’ll refer it to the RNC.

Q I’m asking if the money that he gave —

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it’s our past practice, or the past practice of the campaign has been what I described. If people are involved in wrongdoing — I think there’s been very few instances of that, one or two maybe where money has been donated to a charity that that individual gave to the campaign.

Q Well, I guess, the question is, though, since he raised the money and you don’t know what was involved in raising that money, does that not put a taint or a cloud over it?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that it’s keeping with past practice, and they took the appropriate step.

Q But Hastert is giving all of it back.

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, John.


Q Does the money he collected have no taint whatsoever?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I think we’re taking the appropriate steps in terms of this individual. It’s similar to what we have done with previous individuals that may have been involved in wrongdoing that had contributed money, too. And I think in terms of others making those decisions, it’s up to them, but there are certainly people on both sides of the aisle that ought to take a look at that.