Lungren's Bid for Minority Leader Skimpy on Details

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Nov 17, 2008 1:31 PM
Rep. Dan Lungren (R.-Calif.) wants his Republican colleagues to support several hours of open debate in an upcoming  meeting to elect new GOP leadership, in which he is challenging Minority Leader John Boehner for his post.

Oddly enough, this appears to be the main thrust of his campaign.

"We need to throw out the regular rules and have at least three hours devoted to debate about who the next leader should be," Lungren told right-leaning writers during an afternoon conference call.

The California congressman was reluctant to criticize Boehner on any particular issue, despite prodding from several questioners, only saying he believed the party needed better messaging on critical issues.

To prove this, Lungren relayed a story of Republican leadership adopting the slogan "Change You Deserve" earlier this spring despite the fact it was a patented slogan for Effexor, a prescription anti-depressant. "We couldn't change it because we had a press conference the next day," he said faulting GOP leadership for going through with an obviously tainted slogan. The Democrats promptly mocked the slogan, sneering that the GOP's "Change You Can Deserve" came with a myriad of side-effects, including "nausea because what they did to the economy makes people sick to their stomach."

Aside from that anecdote, Lungren offered few details how his leadership would be substantially different than Boehner's. It appers Lungren simply wants his colleagues to thoroughly examine the direction of the Republican party by discussing a bid he's unlikely to win. "Do I understand the odds against me, of course I do," he said.  "Do I think it's worth doing? Yes."

"If we are afraid of debating amongst ourselves how can we have the gumption to go before the American people and say we are capable of leadership?" he said. "We have to challenge ourselves and we have to do it repeatedly and I think I could do a better job than John Boehner."