Think about it. Schweikert is on a trip to Israel more than a year ago with a bunch of Members of Congress and staff and either witnesses or knows about a late night swim that included a Congressman from Kansas who actually went into the water nude. He doesn’t say anything about until right before an election in which he is in a pitched battle with Rep. Ben Quayle who was named as one of the Congressmen in the original article, lumping him in with a salacious story.
Schweikert and his supporters claim they are going to win big next week. So Schweikert is willing to risk the entire national GOP image to drive an unnecessary nail in the coffin of Quayle? Wow. Just wow. Burn down the house.
The Daily Caller has posted a story headlined “GOP sources: Politico skinny-dipping ‘scoop’ was likely Schweikert-on-Quayle primary attack.”
Here are some excerpts:
The inaccurate portrayal of Quayle as an active participant in a drunken swim party has led many Republican insiders, including Quayle and his staffers, to believe Schweikert leaked the story to Politico and framed Quayle’s alleged involvement in an effort to boost his own chances in the primary.
The Aug. 28 primary will likely determine the winner of the Nov. 6 election. Democrats in Arizona’s newly-drawn Sixth District are not expected to field a strong opposition candidate to whichever Republican emerges victorious.
“There seems to be a general consensus that the story was leaked by Schweikert to help him in his primary against Quayle,” one high-ranking Capitol Hill GOP source told TheDC. “If that’s true, it’s unfortunate that he’s willing to pit his own re-election against the party.”
Another senior Hill GOP source said that “[w]here there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there definitely seems to be troubling indication that it’s coming from Schweikert.”
A third high-ranking GOP source said that the Politico article was “not anything logical or about the truth,” and it’s clear that Schweikert and his political allies leaked it to try to smear Quayle.
“They’re in a sprint until next Tuesday, and there’s a lot of evangelical voters who would probably be upset by things like this,” that source said. “All they have to do is maintain this for another week and Schweikert wins.”
Schweikert held an impromptu press availability with local media in Arizona the night the story broke. He used the briefing to attack Quayle, further fueling Capitol Hill speculation that he was the source. Schweikert said he was “disappointed, but not surprised [about this Politico story], given Congressman Quayle’s history.”
There were approximately 30 GOP lawmakers on the trip, including Schweikert.
Schweikert campaign spokesman Chris Baker denies that Schweikert, his congressional office or his campaign “provided” or “gave” this story to Politico. “No one from the Schweikert campaign, official office, or anyone associated with the Schweikert campaign gave this story to Politico,” Baker wrote in an email to TheDC.
“Schweikert did not provide the story to Politico.”
When TheDC asked Baker if Schweikert or his staffers had anything to do with this story, if they knew when it was going to run, or if Schweikert’s team helped Politico put this piece together, he refused to answer.
Baker’s carefully worded denials leave open the possibility that Schweikert could have had a hand in the story’s development.
Schweikert himself skirted the question too, saying it’s “absurd” to believe that he’s the source because Politico is a “national newspaper.”
“How would we have [access to] that?” Schweikert reported.
Baker refused to answer when asked what Schweikert thinks Quayle did that was wrong. Baker also refused to answer if Schweikert will correct his accusations or apologize following the revelation of inaccuracies in the Politico story.