Democrats hammer Capito for congressional travel


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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hammered Capito for comments she made during a campaign stop in West Virginia about cutting back in her own life due to the economic downturn.

"If you think about it the way I do, in my own home – when I have a downturn in my own house, in what I'm making, what's the first thing I do? You start cutting your expenses. You don't buy a car, you don't buy a coat, you don't go to the movies, you eat in…you quit traveling," she said.

Capito, however, has been to 10 countries since 2009 on official congressional trips to foreign nations, and has taken further trips within the U.S. for various junkets and conferences funded by industry and advocacy groups.

DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said that comments like this, which he called "hypocrisy," illustrate why conservatives are looking to challenge Capito from the right.

“Shelley Moore Capito’s ‘do as I say not as I do’ mentality represents exactly the type of hypocrisy and double speak that West Virginians are sick and tired of from long time Washington insiders,” he said in a statement.

“Capito claims she quit traveling as a result of the economic downturn, but in reality she traveled around the world leaving taxpayers and special interests to pick up the tab and her effort to claim her family had to make the same tough decisions other West Virginia families had to is laughable, insulting and could only be considered serious by a true creature of Washington."

National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Brad Dayspring pushed back against the attacks, charging that Democrats had no ground to stand on with their attacks because of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) trips.

"These are the same Democrats who praise Harry Reid — who flies around on private jets with millionaire donors under criminal investigation — and funnel money to the Reid/Schumer Super PAC to dole it out to Senators like Bob Menendez, whom the FBI is investigating.  There's a bit of a credibility fail there," he said.

Capito is currently the only candidate who has launched a bid for retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-W.Va.) seat. Democrats have yet to front a contender.

--This piece was updated at 11:55 a.m. to reflect comment from the NRSC.