The office of Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett dismissed as "nitpicking" a news release from the V.I. Republican Party that she had been "rebuked on the House floor" for comments she made Tuesday.
During the House’s "Morning Hour" – during which representatives can enter comments and speeches as long as five minutes into the Congressional Record – Plaskett spoke for a minute and 22 seconds on the ongoing presidential campaign. She talked about the temperament and judgment a commander in chief should have, said the "Republican nominee" lacked those qualities and said the American people deserved better. She did not mention the Republican nominee by name.
A statement sent Wednesday morning via the email of John Canegata, the chairman of the V.I. Republican Party, reported that Plaskett had been "rebuked" by the speaker pro tempore, and said it showed her taking part in "partisan political activity during official congressional office hours."
Plaskett’s spokesman Richard Motta denied the delegate had gotten into any trouble and said the V.I. Republicans were being "a little overbearing … They’re not talking about any issue that affects the Virgin Islands."
Plaskett’s entire statement follows:
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to highlight a matter of critical and immediate importance to our national security. As we combat the growing threat of terrorism, both at home and abroad, it is absolutely critical that we elect a commander in chief who will be strong and smart when it comes to our national security. A commander in chief who will work with our allies, employ diplomacy across the globe, and be thoughtful when it comes to using military force to defend the United States. Time and again the Republican nominee has shown that he completely lacks the temperament to lead America on the world stage. Our commander in chief must support our men and women in the military and our veterans instead our service members and veterans have weathered verbal attack after verbal attack since the Republican nominee began his campaign. Mr. Speaker, our men and women in uniform deserve better. Those of us who have children who can be called up deserve better. For those who put themselves in harm’s way, they deserve better. For Americans who rely on the commander in chief to make reasoned, well thought out, balanced decisions, they deserve better. Thank you."
After she yielded the floor, Rep. David Valadao (R. Calif.), who was filling the duties of speaker pro tempore, said, "The chair would remind members to refrain from engaging in personalities toward nominees for the office of the president," then introduced the next speaker.
The entire exchange can be seen on the CSPAN website at the link below.
"It was a kind of off-the-cuff remark … not anything prepared," Motta said.
The V.I. Republican statement said, "Of course, engaging in partisan political activity during official congressional office hours is nothing new for Plaskett, which is why she’s currently the subject of a ethics complaint before the independent, nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Committee on Ethics."
The statement did not mention that territorial Republicans were the source of that complaint. The party complained that Plaskett was using office resources for campaign purposes. Plaskett dismissed the allegation as being without merit.