You know Charlie: Bass is no Tea PartierEDITORIAL
September 27. 2012 12:44AM
The people of New Hampshire's Second Congressional District know Charlie Bass, which is why the campaign rhetoric of his challenger, Democrat Ann McLane Kuster, hits the ears of sensible voters like nails on a chalkboard.
Kuster spends most of her time trying to portray Bass as a part of what she calls the 'Tea Party, far right wing of the Republican Party.' Let's examine that claim. The American Conservative Union rates all members of Congress on their conservatism. Bass has a lifetime ACU rating of 68.74. That's pretty low for a Republican. The more conservative Rep. Frank Guinta's score is 84.
Kuster alleges that Bass has grown more conservative since the 2010 elections because he has 'aligned himself' with the Tea Party. In fact, Bass' ACU rating has fallen since 2010. His 2011 rating was a 52. (There are no 2012 ratings yet.) Bass has actually became more moderate, not more conservative.
Why did Bass' conservative score drop? Well, he voted against conservative proposals such as cutting funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, defunding Planned Parenthood, and adopting a smaller budget than the one the House approved. He also voted for the debt limit increase - a major no-no for Tea Partiers.
Kuster knows that Bass was twice challenged in the Republican primary by a conservative who had Tea Party support. She keeps labeling him a Tea Partier anyway because she also knows that if she ran against the real Charlie Bass she would lose.
The Charlie Bass we know, the Second District knows and Ann Kuster knows is an old-fashioned, moderate New Hampshire Republican. He always has been, and he always will be, no matter how many labels his opponent tries to pin on him.