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Rowdy conservatives heckle Hatch at CPAC

By PHILIP ELLIOTT
February 12, 2011

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was heckled for his support of the Wall Street bailout during his Friday appearance at a conservative gathering, another sign the Republican could face trouble earning his party’s nomination for re-election in 2012.

During an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Hatch was asked why conservatives should believe him when he discusses federal spending, given his vote in favor of the bailout. That vote has become a litmus test for conservatives and anathema for Republicans running for re-election.

“All I can say is, there aren’t many people who will say I’m sorry. I’m one who will,” said Hatch, who earlier this week met with tea party activists at a town hall-style meeting.

Hatch is looking for support from his party’s conservative base for a re-election bid next year. The 76-year-old will not have it from his fellow Utah senator; Sen. Mike Lee said Friday he won’t endorse Hatch.

Tea party activists in Utah sent Republican Sen. Bob Bennett packing for working across party lines on an alternative to the health overhaul legislation that Democrats championed. Bennett did not get the party’s nomination in the party purity test with Lee.

Defending his vote and apologizing for it as well, Hatch said he listened to President George W. Bush and his treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, when they strongly urged Congress to act.

“You may disagree, but you’re not sitting there having to make these decisions. I probably made a mistake voting for it,” Hatch said.

The angry reaction from the crowd drew a scolding from the panel’s moderator.

“I’ve fought in the trenches with this man,” said Lew Uhler of the National Tax Limitation Committee. “Nobody is more committed to conservative principles than this man — Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah.”

Hatch said he did what he thought was best.

“At the time, we were in real trouble and it looked like we were ready for a depression,” he said. “I believe we would have gone into a depression.”

Conservatives a day earlier heckled Vice President Dick Cheney when he made a surprise appearance, calling him a “draft dodger” and “war criminal.” The gathering of more than 11,000 people is packed with conservatives key to those seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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2 Responses to Rowdy conservatives heckle Hatch at CPAC

  1. eve

    February 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    “You may disagree, but you’re not sitting there having to make these decisions. I probably made a mistake voting for it,” Hatch said.

    > Remove the word “probably.”

    The angry reaction from the crowd drew a scolding from the panel’s moderator.

    >Yes, how DARE they be angry about the fact “Wall St. types” have been raking in HUGE bonuses and companies are posting record profits, while tax-paying Americans are having their jobs eliminated and their saving depleted. The nerve.

    “I’ve fought in the trenches with this man,” said Lew Uhler of the National Tax Limitation Committee. “Nobody is more committed to conservative principles than this man — Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah.”

    > Oh, well then it MUST be true!

    Judge them all by their actions NOT their words, as they’ve shown us via their votes who they “represent.”

    • Carl Nemo

      February 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      Yeah, the cunning scamsters that were begging for TARP money had basically green-lighted the mortgage CDO debacle, but never challenged it along the way during various finance committee hearings etc. I listened to a number of them on C-SPAN. There were warning signs concerning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s financial problems, but no one either cared or wanted to listen or in my opinion most likely knew the outcome along with the eventual shakedown of the American taxpayer to cover any losses.

      Nation’s don’t turn on a dime from prosperity to depression unless something bad has happened systemically. In this case a bunch of U.S. based center and offshore banks of the same stripe who had purchased these foul ‘debt instruments’ wanted compensation for their folly. They were making money hand over fist during the engineered “boom” with the bust already indemnified by entrenched Goldman Sachs operatives in the NY Federal Reserve and our government; ie., Hank Paulson et al. Possibly the presumed ‘fix” was in many months prior to its revelation via Hank Paulson, on knee, begging for immediate, summary financial relief. This was all “high theater” along with the threat of depression, martial law etc.

      The rest is history while our complicit, conveniently asleep at the helm, Congress rolled over like puppies waiting for their tummies to be scratched, indebting America even further to these criminally disposed “money guys”.

      I’ve never cared for Orrin Hatch’s voting record. He always seems to do that which is best for the powers that be and rarely if ever stands up for the common man. I have no idea why voters in Utah have maintained his incumbency. It must be the pork, earmarks or whatever else that closes the deal with he and his constituents while to hell with the rest of the nation.

      This is their chance to plant their collective sea boots on his butt and launch him over the stern. Besides he’s been a fixture for too long in the U.S. Senate as most of his complicit brethren.

      Carl Nemo **==