Even as he was apologizing Monday for screaming “baby killer” during Sunday night’s health care debate, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) was turning the moment into a campaign fundraiser.
Neugebauer’s campaign is advertising on Google, urging people to “Stand with Neugebauer” and linking to a page, randyforcongress.com, that urges people to “Donate Today.” Neugebauer and his wife appear in a YouTube video posted on the site Monday in which he says he plans to continue to speak “maybe in a little different forum but with the same intensity.”
“We saw the lives of unborn children used as a bargaining chip to somehow get the needed votes to pass this legislation,” he says in the video.
“I spoke very passionately because I believe what was going on was not right for America. … You know what, I’m never going to quit speaking on behalf of the unborn. … I will continue to speak with the same passion that I spoke with last night, maybe in a little different forum but with the same intensity.”
Neugebauer’s decision to try and raise money off the “baby killer” incident disappointed Democrats, some of whom have been calling for him to apologize on the floor of the House.
But it is the latest in a string of floor incidents that have been exploited for campaign cash, from Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) “You Lie!” scream at President Barack Obama last September to Rep. Alan Grayson’s (D-Fla.) rant later in the fall that Republicans want the sick to “die quickly.”
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who led a group of Democrats opposed to abortion rights and was speaking on the floor when Neugebauer screamed “baby killer,” said he was surprised Neugebauer was fundraising off the incident after he called Stupak to apologize. Neugebauer said Monday in a statement that he said “It’s a baby killer,” referring to the bill and not Stupak, although only “baby killer” was audible in the chamber.
“I’m beginning to believe that’s how you raise money around here is insult somebody,” Stupak said.
“I’m surprised that Mr. Neugebauer would do that. You sort of wonder if his motive was to not only impugn my reputation but also to use it for fundraising. That’s pretty sad.”
The fundraising attempt incensed Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.).
“It’s despicable that he would try to cash in on his outrageous conduct,” he said.