The New York Times’ “First Draft” blog, which touts “Political News, Now,” took aim at a recent fundraising letter from Idaho 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador yesterday. In an item headed “A guide to fundraising, tea party-style,” the Times wrote, “It seems Representative Raúl R. Labrador has a considerable view of his singular ability to oust a speaker, tame federal spending and decapitate special interests. We know this, because he is trying to raise money by saying so.”
It then quotes from a Labrador fundraising letter in which he says, “I sat in Speaker Boehner’s office and gave him an ultimatum: Change the way you’re running the House of Representatives or step down. The next day, he resigned from Congress.” And he says he “didn’t stop there,” and “told special interest groups that enough was enough and extracted $2 trillion in reduced spending over the next 10 years.”
The Times notes that “several conservative members” of the House went after Boehner “for the better part of a year,” and has this bit of snark about Labrador's spending claim: “It is not clear what budget measure Mr. Labrador is referring to, but he generally votes against bipartisan budget deals and was not a major player in any fiscal negotiation.”
Labrador has been making similar statements for months, telling Idaho Public TV this fall that since he’s been in Congress, the federal deficit has fallen from $1.5 trillion to $450 billion. “If I weren’t here, that wouldn’t be happening,” Labrador said.