Washington – Presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain today enlisted the services of Thomson and Thomson Consulting, a firm that specializes in lobbying Congress about the negatives of lobbying.
“We specialize in telling Congress the tough truth about lobbying and lobbyists,” said James K. Laymon, a spokesman for the group. “And that is that that the lobbying that goes on in Washington, D.C. perverts our process, incapacitates the average American, and does no less than soil our great democracy.” When asked about the apparent irony of a lobbying firm professing the evils of lobbying, Layman said, “What? I don’t think I heard you. What was that word you used? ‘I-ron-knee?’ Never heard of it. No idea what you’re talking about.”
For his part, Senator McCain sees no hypocrisy at play in his hiring of the firm, either. “I don’t see any hypocrisy or irony in it whatsoever,” McCain said while traveling on his campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express. “I am committed to ending the culture of catering to lobbies and special interests in Washington. And that is why I hired this firm, to go give some straight talk to Congress and let them know the truth about these lobbyists. And they know. Because they’re lobbyists. I can’t imagine a better qualification for the job. You want to have someone talk about how bad lobbyists are, who are you going to get? A nun? A schoolteacher? A longshoreman? No. You’re going to get a lobbyist. You guys are really complicating a very simple issue. I am anti-lobbyist, so I hired a lobbying firm to fight lobbyists. Where’s the confusion?”
Recently McCain has had to let go campaign members tied to lobbyists, and others in his campaign have had to end their relationships with lobbying firms in order to remain with the campaign. McCain addressed the perception that he is as tied to lobbyists as many in Washington politics. “I know lobbyists, yes, of course,” McCain said, chuckling. “But that doesn’t mean I like them or I work closely with them. I mean, yes, they were on my campaign, but that doesn’t mean I was close to them. I sat very far away from them at the lunch table. If you were there you would have seen. There was just, there were miles of space in between me and those guys. Really. Miles. So much space.”