House Republicans recently held a weekend fundraising retreat at a swank resort in the Florida Keys hosted by Reps. Spencer Bachus and Pete Sessions and attended by a dozen House GOP freshmen. Of course both parties regularly hold these kind of events, but this time CBS News was able to get its cameras inside.
The resulting piece
illustrates the gaping disconnect between the freshmen's anti-Washington rhetoric on the campaign trail and the high-dollar funder at a luxury resort that features charter fishing, luxury yachts, and 54-holes of golf.
The story features ready-made campaign footage of lawmakers schmoozing with donors that likely has Democrats rubbing their hands together with glee. Because despite its truth, the Democrats-do-it-too explanation is unlikely to resonate with voters. And it fits neatly into the Democrats' narrative that Republicans are the party bent on protecting the rich.
The 12 freshmen who attended are: Reps. Sandy Adams of Florida, Quico Canseco of Texas, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Bob Dold of Illinois, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, Stephen Fincher of Tennesse, Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Daniel Webster of Florida, Mike Grimm of New York, Nan Hayworth of New York, Jim Renacci of Ohio and Cory Gardner of Colorado.
None of the lawmakers talked to CBS, but NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay points out that President Obama has been doing similarly high-priced events all over the country.
"Unless you can guarantee me that President Obama and (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi and Democrat super PACs are gonna unilaterally disarm and not spend any money against Republican candidates in the fall, we are gonna do everything we can to have the resources necessary to compete," Lindsay tells CBS.