Reed not impressed with GOP 2012 hopefuls

Bob Recotta

The early field of Republican presidential candidates isn’t exactly impressing the party faithful, including U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning.

In fact, Reed believes the Republicans who have thrown their hat into the ring are playing for the second slot.

“I think all the candidates right now that are out there are running for the vice presidential slot,” Reed said in his weekly conference call Monday. “The real candidate is not on the table as of yet.”

Reed said prior to Monday night’s GOP debate he doesn’t think the eventual nominee has yet to declare. Who that is, Reed isn’t saying.

But the current field, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, hasn’t exactly wowed him.

“I haven’t spent a tremendous amount of time on it because we’ve been so focused on stuff at the office,” Reed said. “I haven’t seen that candidate that has taken the attention away from the work I’m doing and my day-to-day life that would allow me to support a candidate.”

Polls have shown that many registered Republicans are currently dissatisfied with the current field of GOP candidates.

Waiting in the wings are former Alaska Gov. and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and rising stars such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

On another matter, Reed expressed his frustration over the sex scandal enveloping U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.

Reed didn’t call for Weiner’s resignation, but said he hoped the controversy would come to a swift end because it is distracting from important issues facing Congress.

“When it comes to the discussion on Medicare, it needs to be part of the conversation and that conversation is a honest and hard conversation we have to have across America,” Reed said. “When you have a congressman taking up all that attention, to me that’s not a good thing. This conversation has to occur with all Americans in an open and honest manner and when you divert attention away from that necessary conversation, it deflects from what needs to be done.”