Department of Unwise Words

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Ben Smith points to this remark from John Thune buried in a Politico profile of Bob Corker today.

“I think he’s a guy who’s willing to get down into the weeds,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who is No. 4 in GOP leadership. “Because he immerses himself in that and understands it so well — the positions he adopts may not always be the ones that everyone else in our conference comes to.”

I haven’t heard the quote in context, and Thune’s office says the portion of the quote after the dash has nothing to do with the part before it. “Senator Thune was simply being complimentary to Senator Corker,” Kyle Downey e-mails. “To interpret this as criticism of his colleagues, as some have tried to do, is to see smoke where there is no fire and is nothing short of ridiculous.”

But it certainly comes across in print like he’s saying Corker bucks the leadership because he’s well-versed in policy. Oops.