Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Mark Foley: 'Inappropriate' to Comment on 'Conduct' of Max Baucus

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size

Former Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida Tuesday had second thoughts about the propriety of his accusation that Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, was inebriated while speaking on the Senate floor about health care on December 22. A video appears to show Baucus slurring his words, repeating sentences, and gesticulating widely in his address (click play below to watch).


Baucus has not commented publicly on the accusation, but his spokesman, Tyler Matsdorf, released a statement calling the accusation "beyond the pale," adding: "what is even more sad is that such a personal attack would be given any validity at all." (Matsdorf requested that his statement be published in its entirety, which it is at the bottom of this post.)

On Sunday night, Foley posted the Baucus video on his Facebook wall along with the comment: "breathalyser for members of congress." Five minutes later, Foley posted to his wall: "This is the senator that hired his staffer and then took her on trips...and divorced his wife....and they had me run out of town"

But by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Foley seemed to have had a change of heart about whether he should be posting those comments about Senator Baucus' behavior. Foley posted on his
Facebook wall: "Yesterday's post about Senator Bacchus [sic] was inappropriate on my part. I have no right to make an observation about him or anyone else as it relates to their conduct or behavior. I was wrong. As I have stated over the past three years I have myself alone to blame...and I need not cast a stone in anyone's direction...I apologize to all who have every right to be offended by my comments."

It is unclear whether or not Foley, who himself went to rehab for alcoholism, deliberately misspelled the senator's name, Baucus, as Bacchus, which was the Roman god of wine.

Twelve minutes later, Foley added this comment to the post: "
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. I have never been one to attack others ... so I don't intend to make it a habit."

Foley, a radio talk show host in Florida, resigned his seat in the wake of a scandal in which ABC News uncovered sexually explicitly e-mails and instant messages the congressman sent to former House pages. I know Foley from when he was a deputy whip when I was communications director for then Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

On Monday, I e-mailed Foley to ask if he thought Baucus has a drinking problem. Foley responded: "I am in no position to judge the senators [sic] drinking habits, but it is clearly not advisable to take to the Senate floor for a major debate on health policy if you have been consuming alcoholic beverages to the degree it impairs your speech..."

My e-mails to Foley Wednesday to ask him whether he was recanting his accusation altogether -- or whether he was simply apologizing for singling out Baucus -- went unanswered.

Here is the full statement issued by Baucus spokesman Matsdorf in reaction to Foley's original accusations:

"When his friend of 30 years Ted Kennedy, with whom he had fought so hard to provide health care to children, was being used as a cheap foil to oppose health care reform, Senator Baucus gave a passionate defense. Unfortunately, those who want to kill any meaningful reform, turned it into an unfounded, untrue personal smear internet rumor. This is beyond the pale and this type of gutter politics has no place in the public sphere. It is this type of slander that makes Montanans, and Americans, disgusted with the politics as usual in Washington. And what is even more sad is that such a personal attack would be given any validity at all, let alone being elevated to the status of "news".

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyMillerDC

Filed Under: Emily's Post
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including CNN.com, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly

80%

Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
GE
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
CEO
Click2View
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Co-Founder
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director
WCG

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>