Throughout his campaign to be Florida's next Senator, George LeMieux has claimed that he had a "conservative" voting record during the sixteen months he served in the United States Senate after former-Governor-and-former-Republican (and World's Tallest Oompa Loompa) Charlie Crist appointed him.
I thought that was nonsense, and a little quick research gave me several good examples why in a post I wrote back in September:
Let me ask you a question: when you were a child, did you ever sneak a cookie from the cookie jar? You waited until your mother had left the kitchen, right? No kid is dumb enough to try and swipe a cookie while Mommy is watching.
...during LeMieux's entire term in the Senate, conservatism was on the rise, and he knew he had to be on his best behavior...One thing George LeMieux is not is an idiot. Watching the growing power of the tea party movement and [Charlie Crist] falling lower and lower in the polls would have definitely sent a signal that if he wanted to return to the Senate, he needed to learn some conservative dance steps.
In essence, LeMieux's claims of a conservative voting record are the equivalent of attempting to get praise for not stealing cookies while Mommy is watching.
I then listed four key votes where LeMieux failed to stand with fellow Republicans, publicly wavered on an important issue, or voted for an increase in meddling regulations.
...What we have with LeMieux's time in the Senate is someone who knew he was being closely watched by conservatives and intended to run for office in the near future, but still couldn't be counted on to vote a consistently conservative line, even when his votes didn't really matter. To go back to my earlier analogy, LeMieux is a kid who knew Mommy was watching and still stole a few cookies!
Do we really think we can rely on George LeMieux to fight for conservative principles? Do we really believe he will stand strong against not only the Democrats, but also the Republicans in Congress who seek dangerous, ill-advised "compromises?"
Regardless of whether the Republicans regain the White House or not, Congress is going to have to tackle some extremely challenging issues in the next few years, and we will need staunch conservatives with backbones of steel to lead the way. I do not have confidence that George LeMieux fits that definition.
Well, it looks like FreedomWorks agrees with my assessment that George LeMieux is no conservative.
In a viciously scathing email from Executive Director Max Pappas this morning, the FreedomWorks PAC endorsed Connie Mack and discussed LeMieux's record in meticulous detail. They noted many of the same issues I did regarding his voting record and support from liberals and moderates, noting that "the more we looked at [Mack and LeMieux's] records, the clearer the choice became."
The email continues to draw sharp distinctions between Mack and LeMieux, going so far as to apply the "RINO" label to LeMieux repeatedly:
Washington is intentionally opaque—so politicians can behave one way in Washington and then paint a different picture back home. LeMieux seems to be doing just that.
...LeMieux bragged, “I am a Charlie Crist Republican” and then went to the US Senate and proved it. He also said, “He’s (Crist) been the senior partner and I’ve been the junior partner. We make decisions together.” So it is not surprising that he came to Washington and acted much like Charlie Crist would have.
...It’s not surprising champions of limited government in the Senate like Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee are backing Connie Mack while RINOs like Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are backing George LeMieux. They know from personal experience which candidate will be their ally.
...The grassroots leaders in Indiana worked together to defeat RINO Senator Dick Lugar. We will be working with the many great grassroots leaders we know in Florida to make sure one RINO (Lugar) isn’t just replaced with another (LeMieux). And we will be getting to work right away on helping long-time, consistent conservative Connie Mack beat ObamaCare-supporting Sen. Bill Nelson...
I endorsed Connie Mack a few months ago, and encourage you to join me and FreedomWorks in supporting him for the Republican nomination.
[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah]