When Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) expressed concerns over his party’s Bain Capital criticism, it was considered a critically important development. With that in mind, we’ll see if it’s as important when a sitting Republican senator has no use for her party’s Solyndra criticisms.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is breaking with Mitt Romney and some Capitol Hill Republicans by expressing support for federal green-energy programs, including the one that provided loan help to the now-bankrupt Solyndra.
Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said she supports continuation of the Energy’s Department loan-guarantee program for green energy, and more broadly backs a federal role in boosting market deployment of alternative energy.
“I do believe there is a role, and perhaps that sets me apart from some of my other colleagues on Capitol Hill,” said Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Murkowski warned against a “knee-jerk” response to Solyndra – which seems to be a fair description of the Romney campaign’s message – adding, “We are focusing right now on the failures instead of also recognizing that we have done good things for the loan guarantee program.”
Oddly enough, Karl Rove, of all people, offered related remarks this week, arguing, “We’ve got a growing economy that’s increasing energy consumption and wind energy should be part of the solution.” Though Rove wasn’t specifically referring to federal loan guarantees, he nevertheless endorsed taxpayer subsidies to the wind industry – the very subsidies Romney rejects as government meddling in free enterprise.
Romney’s entire line of attack on Solyndra appears to be crumbling. For one thing, he lied about Solyndra and got caught. For another, there’s ample evidence that Romney, as governor, made Solyndra-like loans to energy companies that went bankrupt, too.
And now, some of his high-profile allies are endorsing the kind of government intervention in the market he’s forcefully denounced.