Rep. Cliff Stearns (R) of Florida hasn’t exactly inspired confidence in his professional abilities lately. The Republican lawmaker recently raised the specter of impeaching President Obama over a citizenship conspiracy theory, and when pressed, added that he believes the president’s birth certificate may not be legitimate.
This would be less disconcerting if Stearns were some random media personality or right-wing blogger, saying foolish things in public for attention, but he’s actually a 12-term congressman and the chairman of a House committee panel on oversight and investigations.
Does the House Republican leadership have any concerns about Stearns’ bizarre rhetoric? Apparently not.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he has “full confidence” in Rep. Ciff Stearns (R-Fla.), the GOP’s point person in the Solyndra probe, despite Stearns’ recent remark that he’s not certain whether President Obama’s birth certificate is legitimate.
“I think Cliff Stearns does a good job with the chairmanship of his subcommittee,” Cantor told The Hill in the Capitol Wednesday. “He has my full confidence.”
Cantor was responding to a question about whether it’s appropriate to have someone who has questioned Obama’s birth certificate leading a probe of the White House…. Stearns heads the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, which is part of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.
This isn’t especially surprising – Cantor is not in the habit of criticizing Republicans – but I’m curious: what exactly would Stearns have to do to lose Cantor’s confidence? Question the legitimacy of the moon landing? Hunt for Bigfoot? Engage in a debate over whether unicorns and the tooth fairy are real?
Think about what Cliff Stearns has effectively argued in recent weeks. A year after the White House released Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate, this congressman still believes the president may be part of an elaborate scheme to hide a foreign birth. The allegation has no basis in reality, but Stearns seriously believes the facts are in doubt.
Cantor nevertheless has “full confidence” in Stearns’ ability to chair a powerful panel, charged with key oversight and investigatory powers.
The follow-up question for Cantor: why do you still have “full confidence” in Stearns’ abilities?