The ‘Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement’ Club gets a new member

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) surprised many political observers last week when, in response to a question about the right-wing House Republican budget plan, he declared publicly, “The leaders will bring forward (Paul Ryan’s) budget, and I will vote for it, and it will fail.”

Yesterday, the senator’s office explained that when Brown said, “I will vote for it,” he didn’t mean he will vote for it.

The Massachusetts Republican said in a statement that he favors the overall direction Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget takes toward reducing spending.

But Brown declined, through a spokesman, to say if he backs Ryan’s proposed Medicare overhaul, or if he would vote for the Ryan budget plan. […]

A Brown aide said the senator on Friday was using the Ryan budget as an illustration of how political games are being played in Washington, and he was not saying how he would vote on the bill.

Remember when Jon Kyl said 90% of Planned Parenthood funding goes to abortions, when the actual number is 3%? Kyl’s office also said it was an illustration, and wasn’t “intended to be an factual statement.”

Brown apparently is learning valuable lessons from his Republican colleagues.

I’d remind the oft-confused senator of the “no backsies” rule. Brown not only said publicly that he’d vote for the House GOP agenda — which, among other things, ends Medicare — he went on to “thank God” that Paul Ryan’s radical plan had been introduced.

It’s a little late in the game to reverse course.

When Boston’s conservative paper characterized Brown as “Dan Quayle in a barn coat,” it was an apt description.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.