Gov. Tom Corbett Apparently Doesn’t Understand His Own Lies
PoliticsPA had an eye-opening piece up Friday in which they went over an interview Gov. Tom Corbett recently did with conservative Philly radio host Dom Giordano. In it, Corbett defends Pennsylvania Republican Party-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Steve Welch, who, until 2008, was a registered Democrat.
“My understanding, the explanation from him and from his campaign team is, in ‘Operation Chaos’ four years ago, I think it was Rush who was encouraging everybody, go switch your party and go and vote for Obama in order to beat Hilary,” said Corbett of Welch’s past as a Democrat. “People did that, in fact Steve says that he did that, and that he voted for Obama in the primary, not in the general election.”
PoliticsPA notes that Corbett’s claim was made up out of thin air.
And there’s a paper trail to prove it. Welch has noted on several occasions that he actually switched parties in 2005, not 2008. “I got disgusted at George W. Bush’s spending policies, especially the prescription drug legislation and ‘No Child Left Behind.’ So I got mad and became a Democrat in ’05,” Welch told Human Events in October.
PoliticsPA did not find a single instance in which Welch claimed to have changed his party affiliation for ‘Operation Chaos.’ In a quick search today, we weren’t able to find anything, either.
But there are other problems. Firstly, let’s remember what Operation Chaos was, and what Corbett openly admits to it being: A scheme created by radio show host Rush Limbaugh to get Republicans to re-register as Democrats toward the end of the 2008 primary season in order to prolong the Clinton-Obama battle and apparently damage the Democratic party in the process. Nevermind right now is probably not the best time to invoke praise unto someone who you claim once followed orders from a radio show host who, in the last week and a half, has lost over 100 advertisers for calling a female who tried to testify before congress a “slut” and “prostitute” while fantasizing about watching pornography of her on the Internet.
That said, Operation Chaos wasn’t simply re-registering and voting for whoever. Limbaugh told his listeners to re-register and vote for Hillary Clinton because at that time, she was behind Obama in delegates and in the midst of losing 11 straight primaries — not the other way around, as Corbett claims. Limbaugh and his listeners hoped the action would lead to a divided, brokered convention, a la Chicago 1968. By the time the Democratic campaign got to Pennsylvania, Clinton was poised to lose. Bill Clinton even emphasized that the former New York Senator may have to drop out of the contest if she did not win the Commonwealth. (She did eventually win, 45-54.) So, Tom Corbett not only made up Welch’s Democratic switch, but didn’t understand the background for his own canard.
As weird as this is, it’s also very Corbett. He’s gone on record as supporting pieces of legislation — Voter ID and anti-abortion architecture, for instance — for reasons that often have no basis in fact. But hypothetically speaking, assuming Rush Limbaugh had nothing to do with it, why would he still try to put Steve Welch on the record as having participated in an ‘operation’ that made a mockery of the democratic process?