Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What happens in the Galilee... Brahm Resnik blog

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 09:33 AM

First, full disclosure: While on an Israel trip 35 years ago, I, too, waded into the Sea of Galilee. I believe I was wearing shorts. No booze was involved. The FBI never called.

Which is how Congressman Ben Quayle describes his visit last summer to the holy body of water that he and several congressional Republicans are now accused of profaning with a boozy plunge.

I interviewed Quayle and his wife, Tiffany, on Monday at the 12 News studios. You can watch their defense here.

Absent any other evidence, I find their description of what happened largely persuasive.

Quayle also goes off on his GOP primary rival, Congressman David Schweikert, and blogger Erick Erickson.

Schweikert has tried to frame the Galilee story as of a piece with story that plagued Quayle in his 2010 run for Congress.

It's a reach. A big reach. Schweikert, who was on the same Israel trip, left the dinner early with his wife "when the drinking started." He says he never saw any frolicking. Never noticed Quayle at the dinner. And he claims he was told nothing about what happened in the Galilee afterward.

On that point, Congressmen Quayle and Schweikert agreed when I spoke to them Monday. It seems congressmen don't gossip amongst themselves the way the rest of us do.

Both men said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's dressing down of the GOP delegation the day after the night before never mentioned what happened the night before. Quayle said Cantor was "vague." Schweikert described the remarks as "ethereal."

Both Quayle and Schweikert say they themselves had no inkling that some of their fellow congressmen had been frolicking in the Sea of Galilee. Quayle maintains that his DC condo-mate, Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder -- that Kevin Yoder, the guy who went skinny dipping in water Jesus walked on -- never once mentioned the incident during the last year.

What happen in the Galilee, stays in the Galilee. Until it it dribbles out days before a primary.

One note on the original Politico story: The FBI "investigation" of the skinny dipping doesn't appear to have been an investigation of the skinny dipping.

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