Cole fires back at ‘hypocritical’ challenge
By Jackie Kucinich
Cole’s comments come in response to a letter sent Monday by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) asking the Oklahoma Republican to join him in demanding that soft-money groups stay out of House races during the 2008 cycle.
Van Hollen first issued the challenge to Cole during a Fox News Sunday appearance May 25. The segment ended directly after Van Hollen’s comment without giving Cole a chance to respond.
"I think that my colleague Tom Cole and I should agree to follow the lead of Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama when it comes to these outside shadowy groups, these 527 attack groups, that come to play in these elections," Van Hollen told the show's host, Chris Wallace. "And I hope he will agree with me today that we should call upon those groups not to run ads in these different races and call upon our supporters not to give to those shadowy attack groups. That's reform that the presidential candidates have called for, and I think that we should join in that effort."
In the letter, released by the DCCC under the banner "8 Days & Counting — Chris Van Hollen Renews Challenge to Tom Cole: No Outside Groups in House Races," Van Hollen asked Cole: “[W]ill you join me in publicly calling on soft money outside groups to not run ads in House races this year and also urge our supporters to not contribute to these groups?”
“When and if Chairman Van Hollen ever wants to have a serious discussion about legally reforming 527 organizations, I will take his call and meet with him,” Cole said in a statement. “Better yet, when he puts actions to his flimsy words, I’ll pick up the phone and call him.”
He added, “The press release Van Hollen’s office issued today gives hypocrisy a bad name.”