Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy (R) just resigned from his seat in Congress to spend time with his family as his wife, conservative pundit Rachel Campos-Duffy, prepares to give birth to their ninth child, who has unfortunately been pre-diagnosed with a heart condition.
In what was likely Duffy’s last time participating in a congressional committee hearing, he took the opportunity to graciously thank Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, only to receive a somewhat sarcastic — albeit presumably good-natured — response to his remarks.
Duffy expresses gratitude
Hot Air reported that Duffy used the last minute of his time to speak at a committee hearing on Thursday to publicly say his goodbyes to fellow committee members on both sides of the aisle.
“But I’m gonna take my last minute, as I try to light a fire with you all, to say thank you. Madame Chair, it’s been a privilege to serve with you,” Duffy said.
“We fight a lot but I always say you’re a really nice person. You’re a good person and you’ve always treated me with respect — maybe not always on camera, but behind the scenes at least you have,” he added. “I’m grateful for the friendships and the camaraderie.”
Waters’ backhanded compliment
“I want to thank you for your very public comments, complimenting me and thanking me. I was shocked,” Waters replied. “However, you’re repeating it one more time and I am so pleased.”
She went on: “So I want to thank you for the good times and the bad times. I want to thank you for the times that you have interfered with me trying to do my work over here when you rush across the aisle with another comment that is unwelcome.
“I want to thank you for putting up with my responses to you and some of the things that I’ve said and the looks that I have given you,” Waters added. “I am going to miss you an awful lot, and I certainly wish you well, and your family, in your future endeavors and thank you so very much.”
Another member of the committee, Republican Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, was overcome with emotion as she said goodbye to her dear friend Duffy. Wagner, who shares Duffy’s staunchly pro-life views, choked up and began to cry as she wished him and his family the best and praised his decision to place the needs of his family ahead of his continued political career.
In one final exchange between Duffy and Waters, Duffy joked that he knew Waters hadn’t really meant any of the dirty looks she’d given him in the past. With a chuckle, she replied, “Thank you so very much, and when you write your book be sure and say the correct things about me, OK?”
Duffy and Waters have most certainly been on opposite sides of the ideological battlefield and have tangled with each other both publicly and behind closed doors in the past. However, snarky jokes aside, it was apparent that there was mutual respect and appreciation for each other beneath the outward expressions of partisan rancor that sadly characterize so much of our political discourse.