Ahead of what historically has been a rare exhibition of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, some Republicans are saying their Democratic rivals have refused to participate in an annual softball game.
According to the Daily Caller, sources within the Republican National Committee say they heard from members of the other party that they would not be able to field a team this year.
“We won’t be able to play,” the DNC said, according to one source.
Democrats reportedly cited the fact that “all our players are out in the field this year” as the reason for their cancellation.
Sources within the RNC said they were “stunned” by the news.
As of the latest reports available, the DNC had not officially addressed the Daily Caller’s report.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel responded to the news in a tweet on Tuesday.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 31, 2018
“The RNC-DNC softball game was an annual tradition and a time to put aside politics,” she wrote. “It’s a shame @TheDemocrats are refusing to participate this year.”
As the Independent Journal Review reported, the annual game has long provided some levity between the two parties and has often been highlighted by friendly bets and amiable jabs between leaders in both parties.
Before joining the Trump administration for his brief tenure as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer was a prominent figure in both the games and the associated trash talking.
On multiple years, he engaged in lighthearted ribbing of DNC members and often made agreements with a Democratic rival for the loser to perform an embarrassing act.
Ahead of the 2014 game, he challenged former DNC spokesman Mo Elleithee to a social media-related bet.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) July 16, 2014
With a winning record overall, Spicer was able to witness rivals like former DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse pay the price after losing on the field.
In 2011, Spicer and Woodhouse appeared together for a television interview during which the latter was obligated to wear a Republican-themed hat and shirt as punishment for the loss.
The jokes continued as Woodhouse tried on the white baseball cap with an RNC logo.
“I think it’s worth nothing, Chuck, that it says ‘Victory 2008,'” Woodhouse said to host Chuck Todd. “It’s whited out.”
Spicer shot back that he was “glad that Brad’s noted that we’re recycling.”
The defeated Democrat acknowledged at the end of the segment that he had learned his lesson.
“I’ll never make this bet again,” he said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.