Republican Leaders Mute on Benghazi-Based Fundraising

Boehner and Cantor have both avoided answering the question this week.

House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks with Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-VA, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., November 3, 2010.
National Journal
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May 8, 2014, 11:18 a.m.

Do House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers con­done rais­ing money over the in­quiry in­to the Benghazi at­tack? Speak­er John Boehner and Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor have both avoided an­swer­ing the ques­tion dir­ectly this week.

And while that might not be a green light for their col­leagues to use the is­sue in fun­drais­ing, it’s cer­tainly not a stop sign, either.

The House is set to vote on Boehner’s call for the cre­ation of a new se­lect com­mit­tee to in­vest­ig­ate the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ac­tions sur­round­ing the 2012 at­tack on the U.S. Con­su­late in Benghazi, which killed four Amer­ic­ans.

While Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Car­o­lina Re­pub­lic­an who will run the com­mit­tee, has said that he op­poses us­ing the is­sue to raise money, the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee, and some oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans, are do­ing ex­actly that.

Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day, Can­tor was asked about the is­sue dir­ectly, but did not provide a dir­ect an­swer.

“There’s a lot of dis­cus­sions about the cre­ation of the se­lect com­mit­tee and around the polit­ics of it versus the policy of it,” he said. “And I think it is best for all of us in these halls to fo­cus on what the reas­on is for the cre­ation of this com­mit­tee and re­main sure that we af­fect the end of what we are try­ing to achieve. And that end is to try to get to the bot­tom of what else the White House is hid­ing.”

When a re­port­er tried to press Can­tor to an­swer more dir­ectly, an aide ab­ruptly ended the news con­fer­ence.

On Thursday, Boehner was asked at a news con­fer­ence wheth­er the NR­CC should raise money on an is­sue that in­volved four Amer­ic­an deaths, but he too did not an­swer dir­ectly.

“Our fo­cus is on get­ting the an­swers to those fam­il­ies who lost their loved ones, peri­od,” Boehner said.

When a re­port­er per­sisted, Boehner simply re­peated his an­swer.

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