Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

House GOP Aide Questions Wisdom of Going to See ‘Prisoners’ Tonight

House Republicans might be rethinking their Friday night movie plans after word got out that the members would be hitting up the Regal in Chinatown to see “Prisoners.”

In a series of emails obtained by CQ Roll Call, Republican staffers revealed that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wants to do a movie night for the Republican members in town. And the plan is to see “Prisoners.”

That’s when Erica Elliott, the spokeswoman for McCarthy, asks a prescient question:

“Any chance the media reads WAY too much into the title of the movie, Prisoners?”

To answer Ms. Elliott’s question: yes.

Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have made a concerted effort to cast Republicans as the bad guys for taking the nation’s credit “hostage” for a “wish list” of demands. Obama says he will not negotiate. Speaker John A. Boehner says, “I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.”

So when Republicans landed on “Prisoners” for their Friday night flick, it was probably going to raise some Democratic eyebrows — or at least prompt some Democratic press releases.

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“Given Speaker Boehner’s crusade to hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to Tea Party ransom demands, it’s not surprising that, in their free time, the Republican Conference would choose to spend their Friday night watching a film together about hostage taking.” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s communications director told CQ Roll Call.

“Perhaps, given the group, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ would be more appropriate for their movie night,” Hammill said.

But HOH will note that if you haven’t seen the original “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” then the sequel, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″ (which is the movie actually playing at Regal), probably isn’t worth your time.

In fact, nothing at Regal looks all that good.

“Insidious: Chapter 2” — There was a Chapter 1?

“Don Jon” — Let’s not even go there.

“The Family” — 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so …

“Rush” — We think House Republicans, like us, have grown tired of Ron Howard.

“Baggage Claim” — 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” — Seen it.

“Battle of the Year 3D” — Also ripe for ridicule, especially if you’re spotted in the 3D glasses.

“The World’s End” — Hard to see how that’s much better than “Prisoners.”

So “Prisoners,” with a 79 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and 90 percent audience approval, may not be the worst Friday night flick — even if Democrats are delighting in the choice.

Elliott, who took a stern tone over the matter using words like “confirm” and “logistics,” said Republicans were still figuring out which movie to see.

“I can confirm that our office has had internal discussions about potential member services activities this weekend. I can also confirm that a member of Minority Leader Pelosi’s staff was mistakenly copied on the email chain and chose to forward it to members of the media. At this time, no final decisions have been made about logistics for this weekend,” Elliott said.

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