House Republicans are awesome, because they'll trick you into buying a car you can't afford.
That was the message from Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) at a recent fiscal policy summit in Washington. Roskam, who as a Chief Deputy Whip ranks fourth in the House GOP leadership, was attempting to compliment the relatively recent crop of Tea Party Republicans. But he appeared to get a bit tangled up in his own reasoning, eventually suggesting that Rep. Mike Kelly's (R-Pa.) experience selling people cars they couldn't afford prepared him for Congress.
"The class of 2010 and class of 2012 -- these are members who were literally provoked into running for Congress. They were minding their own business, and I mean literally minding their own business," Roskam said. "You know, if you give Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania eye contact -- he's a car dealer -- he's gonna put you in a car that you can't afford, and you're gonna be happy and you're gonna thank him for it. He's an incredible salesman and has a real ability."
Watch Roskam's comments in the video above.
Kelly's industriousness, Roskam reasoned, is a trait shared by many of his colleagues, and has been key to the GOP's ability to govern effectively.
"You take that sort of capacity and put him in a new environment, and that type of member says, 'Oh, I'm getting it,'" Roskam continued. "These two classes, which represent 47 percent of the House majority … they're becoming incredibly sophisticated members and really learning how to deal with the legislative process."
Kelly, elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, does indeed appear to be quite a salesman. He worked for decades at his parents' car dealership in Butler, Pennsylvania, before taking over the business in the mid-1990s. The dealership is still running, if you're in the market for a Chevy, Cadillac, Kia or Hyundai you can't afford.
Kelly's office declined to comment.