Blue Dog Democrat Jim Matheson Laments: “I Can’t Believe We’re Staying With The Same Line Up”

By Cullen Dirner

Nov 30, 2010 4:49pm

ABC News’ Cullen Dirner reports:

Rep. Jim Matheson D-UT., told ABC News’ “Top Line” today, that when he casts his vote in 2011 for the Speaker of the House, it won’t be for Republican John Boehner – but it won’t be for Democrat Nancy Pelosi either.

“I think the Democratic Party needs new leadership,” he said.  “ I think this election was a stunning defeat in terms of its magnitude and I can't believe we're staying with the same lineup.”

The Blue Dog Democrat has been a vocal critic of Pelosi’s leadership and earlier this month he backed Rep. Heath Schuler D-NC., for Minority Leader.  However, Matheson tells “Top Line” he is hopeful for “more engagement of rank and file members.”

“What bothers me about this election is we're replaced a bunch of moderate voices with a bunch of more extreme voices,” Matheson said.

But when pushed, the congressman told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he wouldn’t switch parties, even with Pelosi leading the Caucus.  “I am a Democrat always have been, always will be."

Asked about the signals coming from the Democratic leadership that they will not support an extension of tax cuts for those who make more than $250,000 a year, Rep. Matheson told “Top Line,”  “that doesn’t make sense.”

“I'm not saying make them permanent, but I'm saying at least for the next couple years, we ought to extend them all, get this economy back on its feet,” he said.

Taking it one step further, ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked the congressman how he would vote on a bill that supported the extension of those making over $200,000.

“I'm all about making progress, and if that's a first down, I'll take it,” Rep. Matheson said.  “So, I'll vote for that. I'd rather go for the touchdown, but there is progress, and I'm going to vote for it.”

ABC News’ Karen Travers contributed to this report.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus