Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ben Quayle Speaks Out On Sea Of Galilee Frolick

U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle was interviewed today about his involvement in the late-night swim he and a group of other Republican freshman congressmen took in the Sea of Galilee during a trip to the Middle East last August. Yesterday, after Politico broke the story reporting that one of the congressmen, U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), stripped and swam nude and that alcohol may have been involved, Quayle put out a statement through his wife that left the impression that he was not a part of the group that swam briefly in the lake.
"Ben and I and our daughter Evie were there together that evening in the Holy Land, although I was eight and a half months pregnant with her," Tiffany Quayle said in a written statement provided by Quayle's congressional office. "We were neither party nor witness to any of the inappropriate behavior described in the article, nor were we a part of, or aware of any inquiry. We did return to Arizona with some water from the Sea of Galilee to baptize Evie after she was born."
That statement is at odds with what he tells Fox News' Bill Hemmer. Quayle admits to going for a swim in the lake after dinner, and he admits that he had consumed a glass of wine "maybe that." He says he swam for only about thirty seconds in "proper attire," but he claims that he did not witness Rep. Yoder swimming in the nude as Yoder has admitted he did. Yoder says his nude swim only lasted about ten seconds. The Politico article indicated that other participants either partially disrobed or swam in their clothes. You'll have to determine what Quayle meant by "proper attire" for swimming, but it clearly didn't involve wearing a swimsuit. He gives the impression that nobody at the time saw anything wrong with what occurred, although he admits that Rep. Eric Cantor asked the congressmen the next day to "refocus on what the trip was really about," whatever that means. Politico reported that Rep. Cantor admonished the members for their bad behavior the previous night.

Quayle's comments are a little too much like his initial denial two years ago that he wrote for a racy blog, "Dirty Scottsdale", using the name Brock Landers. Later he admitted to writing for the blog to help a friend out in driving traffic to the website without specifically admitting to writing any posts attributed to Brock Landers as the website's owner claimed. In one of those posts, Landers wrote that his "moral compass is so broken I can't even find the parking lot." Quayle lashed out at his primary opponent during his interview with Hemmer. Quayle called U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, who was also on the same trip, a "professional liar." Schweikert has made an issue of Quayle's poor judgment, including his racy blog posts for "Dirty Scottsdale." Schweikert has said that he believes that Quayle is an "embarrassment" to Arizona and has questioned his fitness to serve in Congress. Quayle appears to blame Schweikert for the incident just now becoming public a little more than a week before the Arizona primary election.

UPDATE: The Daily Caller's sources say Quayle's opponent is at least partially responsible for planting the story Politico broke:

Three different high-ranking Republican staffers on Capitol Hill have told The Daily Caller of a growing consensus that at least part of a Sunday article by Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan was planted by Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert in order to damage his primary opponent, Rep. Ben Quayle.
Schweikert’s office denies the charge, but a campaign spokesperson would only say that the congressman never “gave” or “provided” the entire story to the Virginia-based news outlet. Quayle’s involvement in the saga, while embarrassing, was relatively minor.

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