America

E-mail Message Causes Trouble For Fiscal Commission Chairman Alan Simpson

US President Barack Obama speaks alongsi

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson (R), co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been criticized for an e-mail he wrote. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

After President Obama appointed former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) to co-chair the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, he told NPR's Melissa Block that he welcomed the challenge, acknowledging that "there are a lot of bitchers and whiners and snorters out there, and we intend to listen to them all and then crush them."

That kind of colorful language has gotten Simpson in trouble.

According to The Hill's Jordan Fabian, "Simpson sent a message this week to National Older Women's League (OWL) Executive Director Ashley Carson criticizing a column she wrote on Social Security."

Here's an excerpt:

We've reached a point now where [Social Security] is like a milk cow with 310 million tits! Call when you get honest work!

A handful of legislators — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) — think he should go.

Simpson sent this apology to Carson:

I apologize for what I wrote. I can see that my remarks have caused you anguish, and that was not my intention. I certainly did not intend to diminish your hard work for the Older Women's League. I know you care deeply about strengthening Social Security, and so do I, just as deeply.

According to OWL's communications director, the organization's "position that Mr. Simpson should resign from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has not changed."

This is much more than a "foot in your mouth" situation. Mr. Simpson has demonstrated a consistent, decades-long, pattern of making statements that are offensive to seniors, to women and that are just plain unacceptable in 2010.  There are consequences for actions — especially when those actions result in uniting people who fight for a common purpose.  We, the advocates, do honest work day in and day out to help disadvantaged individuals create better lives for themselves and their loved ones. His actions demonstrate that he does not possess the judgment necessary to make objective recommendations about some of America's most valued programs.

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