Republicans Trying To Raise Money Off Question Time Performance

Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM
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House Republican leaders are calling on their supporters to send money after last week’s extraordinary Q&A session with President Obama. Their recollection of the meeting, as described in the fundraising letters? We stuck it to Obama, so give us some money.

In a fundraising email sent out to the NRCC list today, House Minority Leader John Boehner argued the GOP came out on top in the session “[Obama] finally acknowledged that we’d been offering solutions — Democrats just haven’t listened,” Boehner wrote. “You see, we’re not just fighting to put the brakes on their jobs-killing agenda – we’re showing what a new Republican-led Congress would do differently.”

Reports today indicate that Boehner’s not the only Republican to see the Q&A as a fundraising opportunity. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) — the man whose take on the budget Obama called “factually inaccurate” during the session — said his performance at the Q&A merits some campaign donations, too.Media Matters picked up the Hensarling fundraiser, which was sent to the readers of the right-wing Patriot Update blog. In the email asking for money, Hensarling responded to Obama’s “factually inaccurate” line.

“I worked hard to become an eagle scout, and I consider myself a man of honor. When I am wrong, I will be the first to admit it,” Hensarling writes. “But I am not wrong.”

Neutral observers who fact-checked Hensarling disagreed. Politifact.com rated his statements about the deficit in the question he asked Obama “false.” Yet Hensarling seems proud enough of the back-and-forth with the question to call on conservatives everywhere to fill his coffers.

The GOP take on the event evident in both fundraising appeals differs somewhat from the popular take on the meeting last week. The White House has been eager to trumpet the meeting, calling it a win for Obama, and pollster Scott Rasmussen told me the other day that public perception of Obama’s performance at the GOP meeting could be part of the reason Obama’s poll numbers have been on the rise lately.

Nevertheless, Boehner told supporters in the email today that the meeting made it clear the Republicans are ready to lead. He wrote that it was time to dig deep to help the GOP take back the House. “Thank you in advance for your help,” he wrote “I hope you will also forward this message to your friends and family and ask them to join you in showing your support.”

Late Update: In addition to the fundraising appeal, the NRCC made video of the session available on its website. In a release, the group said the video would “dispel any accusations by Democrats that the GOP has failed to offer ideas to get the country back on track.”

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