“Fox News Primetime” host Trey Gowdy began Wednesday’s program by sounding off on what he called “jail Jesus” moments for Biden appointees who suddenly feel remorse for incendiary things they had done and said in the past.
Gowdy focused on the nominations Vanita Gupta and Neera Tanden. Tanden, he noted, received so much blowback for her past tweets and remarks about top Republicans that she ultimately withdrew her nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Gupta remains nominated for the third-highest-ranking position in the Justice Department.
“There is a difference between a mistake and a series of calculated decisions that turned out poorly for you,” Gowdy said. “Most of us know the difference.”
Gowdy, a former prosecutor, used the example of someone who declares in court that they made a “mistake” when they set their own home on fire to commit insurance fraud.
“That is not a mistake. It’s actually called arson,” he said. “A mistake is calling somebody by the wrong name or putting on the wrong color socks or making a wrong turn in the neighborhood. Systematically tweeting or otherwise criticizing your political enemies is a conscious decision you made that has real consequences now.”
Gowdy recalled that Tanden sunk her own nomination with tweets like one declaring Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was “high on her own supply” when she touted a tax cut proposal.
Gowdy added that Tanden had referred to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell as “Moscow Mitch”, which came back to haunt her when she needed his caucus’ support to be confirmed.
“Those were calculated decisions she made at the time because she thought it was politically expedient to do it,” he said. “Then she was nominated for a job which, unfortunately, required those same senators to confirm her. So, of course, she then expressed deep regret, because it was only then she realized saying those things might possibly be hurtful.”
“I mean I have heard of ‘jail Jesus’ before — people finding religion right before the judge is about to sentence them. I guess this is ‘confirmation clarity’,” the former congressman continued. “You finally realize how hurtful your comments may have been right before you have to ask the person to vote for you.”
For Gupta’s part, she called the 2020 Republican National Convention “three nights of racism, xenophobia and outrageous lies”.
“Now, less than one year later she deeply, deeply regrets saying that,” said Gowdy, recalling his tussle with ObamaCare ‘architect’ and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber on the “stupidity of the American voter.”
In a 2014 hearing, then-Rep. Gowdy asked what Gruber meant by that phrase, to which the Obama adviser responded he was being “glib and frankly trying to make myself seem smart.”
“You are a professor at M.I.T. And you are worried about not looking smart enough?” Gowdy asked at the time.
“Yes,” Gruber admitted.
“I don’t think Gruber was fooling anyone in that hearing, like I don’t think Vanita Gupta or Neera Tanden are fooling anyone today,” Gowdy concluded. “If it’s wrong then, it’s wrong today. And deleting the tweets to make it all go away, I don’t think it will fool anyone either.
“There is a difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught. When you wait until the eve of your confirmation hearing to decide something was hurtful and wrong and regretful, I don’t think it will fool anyone. We’ll see if it does.”