From NBC's Mike Viqueira
The battle between current House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Rep. John Murtha for the Majority Leader slot is getting mildly interesting. Murtha sent out a press release this morning calling the front-page story in today's Washington Post "swift-boat style attacks." The story covers a range of potential ethical issues for Murtha, and his implication is that Hoyer supporters planted it.
"Of the critical issues we are faced with today, the war in Iraq is the most crucial," the Murtha press release goes. "The Pelosi-Murtha position on the war is the reason the Democrats are in the majority today. Congressman Hoyer's position has been to stay the course with President Bush from the very beginning and, like Senator John McCain, he advocates sending in more troops." Hoyer says this charge is not accurate.
Beyond that, Hoyer told reporters, "I am not looking back" -- his way of refusing to get into it with Murtha. He reiterated his pitch for the job; the election is scheduled for Thursday.