GOP Rep’s Instructions To Aides: No ‘Unnecessary Conversation’ In The Car

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Todd Rokita, R-Ind., conducts a news conference at the RNC after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, February 7, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

Rep. Todd Rokita’s (R-IN) instructions for his handlers have been published by Politico — and they’re extensive.

One co-author of the eight-page document — which, among many other things, calls for aides to “have a cup of black coffee available” for Rokita every time they pick him up — accused Rokita’s competitor in the upcoming Indiana Republican Senate primary, Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), of leaking the document, Politico reported.

“There is nothing embarrassing about always being prepared,” Tim Edson, now Rokita’s campaign spokesman, said of the document in an email to Politico.

Rokita has served in Congress since 2011, and before that served two terms as Indiana’s secretary of state.

Here are some highlights from the document:

– When picking up the congressman, “make sure you pull the car far enough forward that exhaust fumes won’t get in the garage.”

– On the road, “[p]lease do not interrupt his prep time with unnecessary conversation.”

– “Always have a camera, and use it liberally.”

– But, “[d]o not take photos of TER with a drink visible in his hand.”

– Always be within sight of the Representative.”

– “Generally less is more when dealing with the press.”

– If an aide sees a “tracker” — political operatives paid to capture embarrassing moments on video — “[r]emind the Congressman to be polite,” and “[n]ever let the tracker put a camera in TERs face and ask questions.”

– “Do NOT say to TER, ‘Todd we have to go.’ or ‘You have an appointment at XYZ.’ Instead, politely tell the person/people TER is speaking with that you need to get TER on the road.”

Read below via Politico:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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