If you're a Democrat hoping to get Republicans off your back by returning a donation from Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), it's best not to get your hopes up. After demanding a number of Democratic members wash their hands of the "tainted" cash, the NRCC is slamming those who actually take their advice for being spineless flip floppers.
The NRCC has made a big deal of pressuring Democrats to cough up the Weiner cash. Or, more precisely, emailing the press to demand the contributions be returned. For example, last week the NRCC put out a release calling on Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) and a number of other lawmakers to give up the money, saying they must choose between "returning the scandal-tainted donations [they] received from Congressman Weiner or silently condoning his colleague's lewd and bizarre behavior that could lead to a potential ethics violation."
The very same day, Sutton announced she was doing just that. Not good enough, NRCC spokesman Tory Mazzola said.
"It's clear that Rep. Sutton is only ridding her campaign coffers of this tainted cash because she's worried about her reelection," Mazzola wrote in e-mail to reporters. "She may have caved to GOP pressure as it relates to Rep. Weiner's scandal, but voters shouldn't count on her to do the right thing and oppose Nancy Pelosi's partisan, tax-and-spend agenda that amounts to more government and debt, instead of real job creation."
On Monday, the NRCC went after Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), saying he hesitated too long before giving back the money.
"After waiting a week, it's clear that he's not doing this because it's the right thing to do but instead because he's feeling the political pressures of the reelection fight ahead of him, especially when combined with his out-of-touch record of tax hikes and reckless spending," Mazzola said in a statement.
It wasn't the first time Democrats had been trapped in a no-win situation by the NRCC. Last month, Republicans blasted out emails slamming House Democrats who voted for a bill that would raise the debt ceiling -- and another batch targeting the Democrats who sided with the GOP and voted against it.
Asked about its practice of criticizing Democrats for following through on the GOP's own requests, NRCC communications director Paul Lindsay told TPM: "Democrats make a lot of bad decisions, and we hold them accountable for all of them."