What do you get for the congressman who’s dodged every tough question he’s ever gotten? More tough questions, of course.
Just because Mike Michaud refuses to answer tough questions doesn’t mean the people asking them should give up. The Maine GOP today released what appears to be tracker footage of Congressman Michaud on Capitol Hill during the Veterans Affairs committee hearings last week.
In early August, Michaud had a major “Mission Accomplished” moment when he attended a bill signing at the White House for a VA reform measure. Just weeks later, the VA produced a report that yet another whistleblower said was “whitewashed” between drafts in order to avoid admitting that wait lists were responsible for deaths at the Phoenix VA hospital.
This being a subject other than kissing babies and cutting ribbons, Michaud naturally tried his best to avoid questions about it.
Here’s the transcript:
- TRACKER: “Do you have any thoughts on why your VA reform bill hasn’t fixed the transparency problems that have been at the VA?”
- MICHAUD: “The VA’s mo- mo- moving forward in a very positive direction; I’m very glad Chairman Miller and I were able to move it to where we’re at today.”
- TRACKER: “Do you accept any responsibility for the latest cover-up?”
- MICHAUD: “The VA committee’s actually doing a great job under Chairman Miller; we’re working in a bipartisan manner to fix the VA which we’re [inaudible] today.”
Note how Michaud literally ducks into the men’s room to avoid a question. His response here is the same as what he told The Maine Wire’s Steve Robinson early in the summer during the height of the VA scandal. Of course, this kind of dodge is nothing new from Michaud, who once spent three straight minutes avoiding an MPBN reporter’s simple question of where he stands on abortion.
Hollow politics like this is one of the reasons Michaud has lost momentum and is failing to inspire the Democratic base, just as Libby Mitchell did in 2010. Cutler speaks intelligently off the cuff and is known for bold statements, whereas Michaud is cautiously boring and always on his talking points.
Michaud now stands at just 35 percent to Eliot Cutler’s 19 percent, according to an internal poll released by the Cutler campaign, and we learned today that Cutler almost out-raised Michaud over the past two months, with $400,000 to Michaud’s $430,000, not including $100,000 Cutler lent himself. These are indicators that the Cutler surge we saw in 2010 may be repeating itself.
If it is, Michaud has only himself to blame.