Continued from page 2

“I came here to hopefully shape the debate for 2016. Not join it, but shape it,” the California Republican told an enthusiastic banquet audience Monday. “I did so in part because over the last five years, I’ve had the distinction and dubious honor of overseeing an administration that doesn’t do the fundamentals of government well — but wants to grow government and expand it in new areas.”

Calling himself a “proud Republican”, Mr. Issa added, “I’m a social conservative, make no bones about it. My values to the core are more conservative than Democrats and most Republicans.”

POLL DU JOUR

51 percent of Americans say they voted for President Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

79 percent of those who voted for Mr. Obama would vote for him again if the election were held again.

10 percent would not vote for Mr. Obama.

43 percent of Americans overall voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.

90 percent of those who voted for Mr. Romney would still vote for him, if the election were held again.

3 percent would not vote for him.

Source: A YouGov/Economist poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 6-7.

Watered down excuses, churlish remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com