It’s the kind of scene one might expect to see in a commercial: as two children bicker, a parent asks what’s wrong. “He’s looking at me funny!” one of the kids cries.
Unfortunately, once in a while, the lines blur between childhood cliches and the public conduct of members of Congress. The Hill reported overnight:
Vulnerable Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) accused the top editor of a newspaper of looking at him “funny” during an interview with the publication’s editorial board.“Well, you’re looking at me funny. I mean, I don’t appreciate that. I don’t appreciate that. That’s kinda condescending. I don’t appreciate it,” Blum, a freshman lawmaker, told Brian Cooper, the executive editor of the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.
If Blum’s name sounds familiar, it’s probably because the far-right Iowan recently made headlines for arguing that the economy is too good in and around the nation’s capital. The Republican congressman insisted, “We need to cause a recession … in Washington DC.”
The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque – which actually endorsed Blum’s campaign in 2014 – asked about his pro-recession message when the congressman complained the editor was looking at him “funny.”
Blum added, “Yes. Yes. Federal government needs a recession. Correct. Yeah.”
The paper’s executive editor later said he has no idea why the federal lawmaker reacted the way he did.
The Iowa Republican went on to suggest he’s not exactly enjoying his current role as a freshman congressman. In fact, Blum seems to be under the impression that there’s some kind of partisan media conspiracy determined to make him look bad.
“It’s very frustrating when the media is like a Pavlovian dog and they get these emails from the Democrat Party … and they decide, ‘Oh, this, Rod’s tweet about tower cranes is news! This is big news! We should run a story about this.’ Or, ‘Hey the Democrat party says he’s not holding enough town hall meetings.’ Or, ‘The Democrat Party said ‘Where’s he at, the first week in August?’ I was on a family vacation, first one in five years, but you know. Uh, these are news stories! This is news!” Blum said to the paper.“Not ‘are we balancing the budget,’ not the federal deficit, not ‘is ISIS going to come over here,’ not securing the southern border, not solving Medicare and Social Security. No. ‘Is Rod Blum holding enough town hall meetings?’ The horror of that. Unbelievable.”
As we discussed in March, Blum barely won his 2014 race in Iowa’s most Democratic congressional district, and he’s considered one of the House’s more vulnerable incumbents in 2016.