The father of embattled Rep. Aaron Schock denied his son is gay Wednesday amid intense media coverage over the lawmaker’s resignation from Congress.
In an interview outside his home in Peoria, Ill., Dr. Richard Schock said his son isn’t gay when speculating why the lawmaker is facing scrutiny over his questionable spending habits as a U.S. House member.
“What this is really about is that Aaron has been very successful,” Richard Schock said. “Aaron is a very hard worker. Aaron is very popular. Aaron is a little different, you know? He wears stylish clothing, and yet he’s not gay. And it makes people — and he’s not married, and he’s not running around with women. So, everybody’s throwing up their arms; they can’t figure out Aaron. So, he must crooked, so attack him, bring him down because he’s doesn’t fit into our picture. He hasn’t done anything to hurt people.”
Richard Schock also said his son is “broken” but a “fighter,” and “two years from now he’ll be successful, if he’s not in jail.”
Aaron Schock has faced questions about his sexual orientation throughout his political career, but he’s repeatedly denied that he’s gay. Asked in 2012 to deny he’s gay by Sirius XM radio host Michaelangelo Signorile in 2012 during the Republican National Convention, Schock reportedly stormed off after saying, “I’ve said that before and I don’t think it’s worthy of further response. I think you can look it up.”
Schock, 33, has a consistent anti-gay voting record during his four terms representing Illinois’ 18th Congressional District, which includes the city of Peoria. His resignation is to take effect on March 31.
His tenure includes votes on the floor against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and hate crimes protection legislation. He’s voted in committee against the Domestic Partner Benefits & Obligations Act, which would have enabled domestic partners for federal employees, including Hill staffers with same-sex partners. Schock voted to reaffirm the Defense of Marriage Act as an amendment on the House floor.
Asked by reporters in 2013 about why he hasn’t come out in favor of same-sex marriage, Schock replied, “I just haven’t.” He later elaborated, “I think everybody has a set of beliefs on issues, social issues in particular that are a reflection of how they were raised and their set of beliefs, and so, first I probably say it’s more of my upbringing, and my faith values.”
Questions about Schock’s spending habits initially came to light after a Washington Post article about his “Downton Abbey”-inspired office on Capitol Hill. Among the things on which he’s spent money is a personal photographer and videographer, Johnathon Link, whom he escorted on a trip to India.
According to Politico, Schock billed U.S. government and his campaign for logging roughly 170,000 miles on his personal car from January 2010 through July 2014. But when he sold that Chevrolet Tahoe in July 2014, it had roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer, Politico reported, meaning he was reimbursed for 90,000 miles more than his car was driven.
Watch the entire video of the interview with Richard Schock here.