Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Lewis faces backlash for blaming GOP losses on McCain

Jason Lewis
Rep. Jason Lewis giving his concession speech last Tuesday night.
At MPR, Brian Bakst reports, “Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis on Sunday blamed the late Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain for the GOP’s loss of the U.S. House of Representatives — an opinion that drew a swift and angry rebuke from McCain’s family and supporters. … McCain defenders, including past aides, said the timing of the piece made things worse given that it was published on the national observance of Veterans Day. Lewis, a first-term congressman from the southeastern Twin Cities suburbs, lost his rematch with Democrat Angie Craig, a former health care executive, by a 52-47 margin, according to uncertified returns.”

For The Washington Post Felicia Sonmez writes, “In the piece, titled ‘Who Lost the House? John McCain,’ Lewis makes a novel argument: that McCain’s famous thumbs-down vote last year against a ‘skinny’ repeal of the Affordable Care Act doomed Republicans by making it more difficult for them to counter Democratic claims that GOP lawmakers would do away with protections for those with preexisting conditions. The catch, of course, is that if Republicans had ultimately succeeded in their efforts to repeal the health-care law, they would have done just that.”

The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson reports: “University of Minnesota lawyers are making good on their promise to ‘vigorously defend’ a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against the school by nine Gophers football players. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination of the players after a woman alleged she was the victim of a gang rape on Sept. 2, 2016. But in a 44-page motion to dismiss the suit, the U argues that the plaintiffs failed to use all other methods of appeal and suffered no deprivation of rights.”

For the Forum News, Raju Chaduvula says, “Authorities are asking for the public’s assistance in an investigation into the apparent hunting-related death of Jay Clayton Nelson, the Becker County sheriff’s office said in a news release. Nelson, former police chief in Lake Park, Minn., was found dead Saturday near Little Flat Lake on the White Earth Reservation in Becker County, Minn. About 6:09 p.m. Saturday, Becker County deputies responded to a report of a dead body, later identified to be Nelson’s, in a vehicle on a logging trail approximately a half-mile west of Little Flat Lake, the news release said. The incident appears to be an accident and a preliminary autopsy report revealed Nelson died as the result of a gunshot wound … .”

Also, Neal Justin in the Strib says, “Roger Wagner, who grew up in Osakis, Minn., owes his leg, and maybe his life, to a M*A*S*H surgeon who treated him during the Vietnam War. But Wagner, who would return to the states after duty to play varsity tennis at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, hadn’t seen him since — until Ann Curry came calling. The former ‘Today’ co-host returns Tuesday for the second season of ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ a heart-warming series in which people with life-changing connections re-unite after decades apart. In the premiere episode, ‘Saved in Vietnam,’ Wagner tracks down retired surgeon Mayer Katz in Maryland for a touching reunion.”

Angie Riebe of the Mesabi Daily News says, “Eighty-eight-year old Lyle Conaway pauses — halted with emotion as he talks during the trailer for a new Netflix eight-part anthology series of his courageous buddy, Cpl. Joseph Vittori. … Conaway was 21 years old when he watched Joe Vittori, his comrade and fellow member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), conduct a ‘valiant stand’ against the enemy in Korea. Vittori’s courage and sacrifice would earn the automatic-rifleman the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration in the United States — the Congressional Medal of Honor.”

Says Stribber John Ewoldt, “The owner of the distinctive Bibelot gift shops in the Twin Cities, Roxy Freese, is retiring at age 86 and decided to close her four stores. Freese says she prefers to think the stores, the oldest of which has been open for 52 years, are retiring, too.… Even so, the news is a blow to a generation of Minnesota shoppers who counted on Bibelot’s flair for gifts, cards and decor that couldn’t be found elsewhere.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 11/13/2018 - 08:17 am.

    Well, considering the respect shown veteran’s by Lewis’s hero in France and then yesterday in Washington on Veteran’s Day, it’s no surprise that Lewis is just tone deaf. Now he can go back to a gig passing himself off as a really deep thinker on talk radio to a dwindling audience of white guys who are aggrieved because life is so unfair to them. Or, an even better gig as a lobbyist for some enterprise intent on destroying safeguards for consumers, the environment, the elderly, kids, our political process, whatever. Doesn’t matter as long as Jason can haul in cash without actually working.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/13/2018 - 08:21 am.

    Being a provocateur only goes so far and then it caught up to Jason Lewis. He only needs to look inward and at Trump for the reasons of his loss. You can’t blame your troubles on a deceased war veteran. Apparently Lewis didn’t recognize the ACA keeps getting more respect from the American voters because the GOP tried to repeal and had nothing to replace it with.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/13/2018 - 09:06 am.

    Shorter Jason Lewis: McCain’s “no” vote made it harder to deceive the public about what the Republicans really wanted to do.

    I guess when you’re a real smart feller like Mr. Lewis you sometimes need to pull the wool over the collective eyes of the public.

  4. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/13/2018 - 09:36 am.

    Don’t blame Trump. Don’t blame years of votes to repeal ACA. Blame a dying Vet. Hey, Jason, who’s fault was it that you lost? I know you can’t blame yourself, your repugnant personality, or the obnoxious things you’ve said over the years.

    I’m enjoying one big irony. I imagine you blame all the Democratic money that was thrown against you. My favorite ad was the one that had you saying, “Money is a good way to measure someone’s value”. Now what does that tell you? Time to ramp up your podcast career.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/13/2018 - 09:41 am.

    I’m confused. During the campaign Lewis explained away his prior outrageous talk radio comments by telling us he just said those things because it was part of hid job as a talk radio shock jock.

    What’s his excuse now?

  6. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 11/13/2018 - 09:57 am.

    Please, set the record straight. Lewis represented citizens from the southeast suburbs. However, he never lived here. Again, yes I know that legally a Representative does not need to live in the District he represents. But it is one of the numerous reasons so many of us voted for Angie Craig, someone who will know who we are and who lives among us in the Second District.

  7. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 11/13/2018 - 10:08 am.

    Lewis is angling for a position somewhere in TrumpWorld. Unfortunately for him Donald doesn’t like “losers.” So poor Jason, as someone who lost in a gerrymandered, white, suburban district to an openly gay woman is a special kind of loser in and will never be hired there. I doubt that he even qualifies for a position on Fox News with loss like that on his resume.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/13/2018 - 12:19 pm.

      The Congressional re-districting following the 2000 census was GOP dominated. Lewis lost on a level plying field.

      • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 11/13/2018 - 05:43 pm.

        I stand corrected Lewis lost in a Republican Dominated district. I don’t see how that makes things better for him, but okay.

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/14/2018 - 07:52 am.

          Actually, it wasn’t a level playing field. Given his residence in CD4, he was playing an away game (by choice).

          And for the record, please, don’t think I was in any way defending Lewis.

  8. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/13/2018 - 11:04 am.

    The most revealing thing Lewis said in his piece was that the Republican bill did not say anything about removing coverage for pre-existing conditions. What he didn’t say was that it did nothing to require such coverage or prevent insurers from charging exorbitant amounts for it, key features of the ACA which the bill sought to repeal.

    Ignoble, even in defeat.

Leave a Reply