Conrad Burns: An Appreciation

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President Bush said last night: “I kind of like being on the same platform as Senator Burns because he makes me sound like Shakespeare. I like a plain-talking fellow.”

Now, we’ve spent a lot of time here at TPMmuckraker laying into Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Jack Abramoff’s favorite senator, but we’re prepared to acknowledge his positives too, and it is true that he has a talent for “plain-talking.”

So in honor of what may very well be Senator Burns’ last campaign, TPMMuckraker offers a compilation of his most colorful comments on Abramoff and the heat he’s been taking over the guy:On claims he was bought: “Selling out my country, my state, that is beyond my amprehension (sic)… Ain’t no way I’m going to do it.” And: ‘I have done nothing wrong and I feel pretty good about this whole thing… That’s old political hooey.” And: “Selling out my country, my state, that is beyond my amprehension (sic)…. Ain’t no way I’m going to do it.”

On his involvement with Abramoff: [My actions are as transparent as] a “little ol’ Mason jar.”

On Abramoff: “This Abramoff guy is a bad guy…. I wish he’d never been born to be right honest with you.”

On knowing Jack: “I wouldn’t know this Abramoff from a bale of hay.”

On staying in the race: “We don’t come from a generation that cut and run.”

On his critics: “It seems like every time we turn around, our critics are at us. They hired a hired gun to come out here to dismantle Conrad Burns. … As long as he’s here, we’re going to have an uphill fight.”

On his response: “I’ve been taking a little shelling. I’m going to start fighting back one of these days.”

On Democratic ads trying him to Abramoff: “Now, I’ve worked in and around stockyards my whole life. Those attack ads, they’re just a big bunch of you-know-what.”

On taking more Abramoff cash than his colleagues: “It’s all dollars. Just like you rob a bank down here. If you get a thousand you go to jail, and if you get a million you go to jail.”

On withstanding criticism: “[I have a] thick hide and a clear conscience.”

On how he’s coping: “I’m ready to go get knee-walking drunk!”

Research by Josh Eidelson.