When John Boehner demanded that Barack Obama fire Tim Geithner and Larry Summers and revamp his entire economic policy team, the White House ignored the call. Vice President Joe Biden sarcastically thanked Boehner for his advice, claiming that it was a voice from the past that would derail the administration’s glorious Recovery Summer. However, it turns out that Boehner isn’t the first in the House to demand a shakeup from the Oval Office. Democrat Tom Perriello told a Virginia audience that he wanted Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Geithner, too, at an August 7th event.
Now some wonder whether Perriello only talks big when no one pays attention:
Embattled freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) called for President Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Aug. 7 during a town-hall meeting in Ruckersville, Va., according to The Wall Street Journal.
The call gained attention this week after House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) made a similar one in a speech Tuesday on the economy.
A local Tea Party group confirmed Perriello’s stance in a press release.
“In calling for Secretary Geithner’s firing, we support Congressman Perriello’s sentiment, with the hope that by replacing our nation’s chief economic policy makers we can begin the path to economic recovery,” it said in a press release Thursday.
The WSJ, which originally reported that Perriello made his statement after Boehner, notes that Perriello has been silent on this demand while back in Washington:
Tom Perriello’s campaign and congressional office, as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has informed Washwire that Perriello’s call for Geithner’s head actually came before Boehner requested his firing.
No word yet on whether the Democratic congressman will meet the Tea Party’s demand for a press release formally calling for Geithner’s resignation.
It’s interesting, however, that the DCCC rushed to correct the WSJ on the timing. They certainly don’t want to leave the impression that Perriello has decided to start following Boehner rather than Nancy Pelosi. However, if Perriello’s demand preceded Boehner’s and the DCCC is willing to stipulate that, then they can hardly attack Boehner for issuing the same demand that the DCCC and Perriello’s campaign is defending as original with Perriello. Heck, Boehner would probably be happy to give Perriello credit for authorship on this point.
Perriello met with a Tea Party gathering last night, and according to one Hot Air reader, Ted C, he repeated his call for Geithner not to resign but be fired. The local NBC station didn’t mention that it its report, but instead noted the deep but polite skepticism with which activists greeted Perriello:
“I respect your position, but not you,” said one tea party member. “I wonder if you would agree you failed and should be fired,” said another. It was a heated, but civil 60 plus minutes between a man and a fast-growing party that don’t often see eye-to-eye.
Looking for a second term in Washington, Perriello went right to those who have spent many a day protesting outside his Charlottesville office. Perriello said, “I have a lot more respect for those who passionately disagree with me than those who just don’t care.”
The Washington Post’s Ben Pershing notes that Perriello, who only won by less than 1,000 votes over Virgil Goode in 2008, could probably use the independent credibility that would come from such a demand. He would, however, have to make that demand while in Washington, rather that just mention it to his constituents while on the campaign trail, for that to be effective. If Perriello’s not willing to even put it in a press release, it gives his district an idea of just how independent a voice Perriello really has.