The Washington Post

Voters react to skinny dipping report

How are voters reacting to the story of the 30 GOP lawmakers who were reprimanded for drinking and skinny-dipping during a fact-finding mission to Israel last summer?

For some in the crowd at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s morning event at Saint Anselm College this morning, the story just reinforces the perception that Congress is at a moment of record dysfunction.

“Congress is becoming imperial. ... The further Congress gets from people at these town halls, the worse it gets,” said William Bowman, a 63-year-old business owner and GOP voter from Arlington, Mass., who had several American flags tucked into the pocket of his lime-green shirt as he awaited Romney and Ryan here Monday morning.

“None of us are spending our summer bathing in the Sea of Galilee,” he added.

What about the fact that the imbroglio involved so many freshman members who had vowed to go to Washington to change the way business is done in the nation’s capital?

“I think it’s terrible that so quickly they’re gone from the passion of representing the people to the perks of elected office,” Bowman said.

Others, such as Mary Lemke, a 31-year-old stay-at-home mom from Rochester, N.H., hadn’t heard much about the story but said that it was probably much ado about nothing.

“I think there’s a lot of time that’s being spent focused on the little things,” said Lemke, a Saint Anselm graduate and Republican voter who brought her three young children with her to Monday’s rally.

She added that voters and the media instead ought to focus more on topics such as the economy, health care and jobs — “the things that are going to affect us.”

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