Republicans sidestep questions on controversial memo

House Republicans sidestepped questions Friday on the veracity of a controversial memo they circulated after Democratic claims of a forgery.

Top House Republicans dismissed questions at a press conference on the Capitol this afternoon about a memo that had been circulated by House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office.

The memo, which is supposedly addressed to "Democratic Health and Communications Staff," appears to advise lawmakers to focus less on the cost of the bill or minutiae of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) score of the bill.

"The appropriate question really is ask the reporter of the article alleging that it's a hoax," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in response to a question about whether the GOP still stood by the memo.

TalkingPointsMemo reported Friday afternoon after the memo was first circulated that Democratic staffers were claiming it was fraudulent, and that Democrats couldn't identify the author of the alleged document.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) seized on the confusion over the memo, calling it an example of "Republican dirty tricks."

House Budget Committee Ranking Member Paul Ryan (Wis.) said that the focus on the memo obscured the larger point Republicans were trying to make, which is that the health bill's costs are overwhelmingly large and inaccurately framed, especially after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed to pass a "doc fix" bill next.

"Who cares about the substance of the memo?" Ryan said.T"he speaker is telling us she's going to do the doc fix."