Hey, remember when Congress hauled baseball players into hearings to testify about the use of steroids? Yeah, it was a big waste of time and taxpayer money. Roger Clemens denied doping and now he’s on trial for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements. They’re in the process of jury selection.
Roger Clemens is a baseball player, for crying out loud! He han no control over billions of taxpayer dollars! Ron Bloom, on the other hand, was President Obama’s overseer of the automobile industry bailouts. The same taxpayer funded bailouts that helped the unions and screwed over private shareholders. Bloom was quoted in 2009 saying “I did this all for the unions.” But when he was asked about his comment during an oversight hearing, he flat out denied it.
The Washington Examiner has the story:
The only difference between the two accounts is that Rattner says Bloom made the statement “jokingly.” Readers can judge for themselves whether it was the kind of joke that is also true. But in any event, Rattner says Bloom was joking.
Fast forward to June 22. During Bloom’s appearance before the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, Republican Rep. Dan Burton asked Bloom about the dinner:
Rep. Burton: Well, did you say this at a dinner? There was a dinner and it was reported by David Shepardson, Washington correspondent for the Detroit News. At a farewell dinner of the Auto Task Force held in the restaurant Rosa Mexicano in late July 2009 that you allegedly said “I did this all for the unions.”
Mr. Bloom: No I did not say that.
Rep. Burton: You didn’t say that?
Mr. Bloom: No sir.
Rep. Burton: So, you were misquoted?
Mr. Bloom: That’s correct.
Rep. Burton: Well, I’m going to call that guy up and ask him if you said that. You know that you are under oath here?
Mr. Bloom: I’m fully aware.
Rep. Burton: You made no comment like that at all?
Mr. Bloom: No sir.
So now the question is: Did Bloom say it, not say it, or did he say it and it was a joke? Bloom says he didn’t say it. But ABC News reports that a White House source is referring reporters to Rattner’s book, adding that Rattner “clearly writes that Bloom made the comment as a joke.”
That has Republicans on Capitol Hill confused. “Bloom is denying having said it in the first place, but the White House is saying it’s just a joke,” says a Hill source. “Well, you can’t have it both ways.”…
Rep. Darryl Issa has given Bloom a chance to clarify and the Committee is waiting for a response. Maybe he’ll say he was just joking during his testimony before Congress.