Rehberg insists lobbying is an ‘honorable profession’

Former lobbyist doubles down in debate, thinks ‘everybody’ is represented by a lobbyist

BILLINGS, Mont. – Congressman Dennis Rehberg, a former lobbyist, couldn’t help but defend lobbyists when asked about his controversial 2011 speech to the American League of Lobbyists.

During that speech, Rehberg said had he been smart, he would have become a lobbyist instead of a member of Congress.  He said thinks lobbying is an “honorable profession” and that he relies on lobbyists for information.

When asked about his out-of-touch comments during his debate Saturday with Montana farmer Jon Tester, Rehberg doubled down, claiming everyone in the room is “represented by a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.”

“Only Dennis Rehberg, a former lobbyist who’s spent 12 long years in Washington, would think that everybody is represented by a lobbyist,” said Montanans for Tester spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff.  “Congressman Rehberg’s out-of-touch belief that everyone is represented by special interest lobbyists is just another example of wrong priorities that hurt Montana.”

Tester, responded by pointing out that he makes decisions based on input from Montana.

“And I just don’t talk about it, by the way,” Tester said.  “We go back, and we get policy passed. We get things done for veterans, and for sportsmen, and for women… you don’t do that by saying you depend upon lobbyists for making decisions.”


REP. DENNIS REHBERG: “I was talking to a young group of lobbyists about the fact that lobbying is a honorable profession and, in fact, you are represented by a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.  You are.  You are.  And everybody in this room has somebody representing them in Washington, D.C.  There’s nothing wrong with gathering information, listening to them.  He made a misstatement.  One again he’s trying to mislead Montanans.  I never said ‘they make my decisions.’ I say I listen to people that are representative of Montana in my office in Washington and then ultimately, I try and make the right decisions.”