Politics

Tom Perkins_ The War on the 1% trim

Jeremy P. Jacobs
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Jeremy P. Jacobs
Feb. 14, 2014, 6:31 a.m.

The Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee scrambled on Wed­nes­day to tamp down spec­u­la­tion it would not sup­port Christine O’Don­nell in Delaware, even as her up­set vic­tory Tues­day cast doubt on the com­mit­tee’s en­dorse­ment strategy.

O’Don­nell used the sup­port of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pal­in, Sen. Jim De­Mint, R-S.C., and the Tea Party Ex­press to stun the polit­ic­al es­tab­lish­ment when she beat the NR­SC-backed Rep. Mike Castle, 53-47 per­cent.

The res­ult rep­res­en­ted a sig­ni­fic­ant blow for the NR­SC, as Castle rep­res­ents the sev­enth NR­SC-backed can­did­ate who has failed to make it to the gen­er­al elec­tion. In each case, the NR­SC backed can­did­ates who were taken by sur­prise by can­did­ates to their right.

O’Don­nell is viewed as a weak­er gen­er­al elec­tion can­did­ate than Castle, which means the NR­SC faces a steep­er hill to pick­ing up Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden’s former seat — a lynch­pin of their plan to re­gain the ma­jor­ity.

On Wed­nes­day, the NR­SC pushed back against spec­u­la­tion it wouldn’t help O’Don­nell as she turns to her match­up against New Castle County Ex­ec­ut­ive Chris Coons, a Demo­crat. NR­SC Chair­man John Cornyn of Texas is­sued a state­ment say­ing the com­mit­tee stands be­hind O’Don­nell and it would make a $42,000 con­tri­bu­tion to her cam­paign, the max­im­um amount it can trans­fer.

“Let there be no mis­take,” Cornyn said. “The Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee — and I per­son­ally as the com­mit­tee’s chair­man — strongly stand by all of our Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ees, in­clud­ing Christine O’Don­nell in Delaware.”

NR­SC sources said there was sig­ni­fic­ant frus­tra­tion as the race came to a close be­cause O’Don­nell sup­port­ers and oth­ers on the right sug­ges­ted the NR­SC doesn’t sup­port con­ser­vat­ive can­did­ates. That, they in­sisted, had noth­ing to do with the de­cision to en­dorse Castle, which was based en­tirely on their as­sess­ment that Castle was a more vi­able can­did­ate than O’Don­nell.

Still, the track re­cord for NR­SC-en­dorsed can­did­ates this year is not strong. Most re­cently, Sen. Lisa Murkowski was stunned by at­tor­ney Joe Miller in the Alaska Sen­ate primary. NR­SC-pre­ferred can­did­ates Jane Norton in Col­or­ado, Sue Lowden in Nevada and Trey Grayson in Ken­tucky all suffered sim­il­ar fates, los­ing in primar­ies to can­did­ates to their right.

Sen. Bob Ben­nett wasn’t able to make it out of Utah’s Re­pub­lic­an con­ven­tion and Flor­ida Gov. Charlie Crist aban­doned the GOP when former state House Speak­er Marco Ru­bio gained mo­mentum in their primary match­up.

It re­mains un­clear at this point what the NR­SC will do for O’Don­nell in the gen­er­al elec­tion be­sides cut­ting a check. Cornyn re­fused to say wheth­er the NR­SC would spend re­sources air­ing ads on O’Don­nell’s be­half.

“In the weeks ahead, we will de­cide where to best al­loc­ate ad­di­tion­al fin­an­cial re­sources among the large num­ber of com­pet­it­ive races at stake this Novem­ber,” Cornyn said.

At this point it is un­likely that the NR­SC goes in­to Delaware, but that isn’t a change in strategy. The NR­SC didn’t re­serve any time in the state when it looked like Castle would be the nom­in­ee be­cause the com­mit­tee an­ti­cip­ated Castle would have ample funds to air his own ads. If O’Don­nell does not ap­pear to be a vi­able can­did­ate in the gen­er­al elec­tion the NR­SC won’t want to waste re­sources there.

NR­SC sources in­sist, however, that if O’Don­nell proves the race is com­pet­it­ive, it is will­ing to go on the air for her. They also said they an­ti­cip­ate help­ing O’Don­nell raise money in Wash­ing­ton. Already on Wed­nes­day, Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mc­Con­nell gave O’Don­nell $5,000, the max­im­um amount he’s al­lowed to con­trib­ute.

What We're Following See More »
HEALTH IN QUESTION
Sen. Cochran Back to Washington Tuesday
7 hours ago
THE LATEST
THIRD VERSION OF THE BAN
Federal Judge Temporarily Stops Trump’s Travel Ban
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A federal district court in Hawaii has temporarily blocked the third iteration of President Trump's travel ban. Judge Derrick Watson said the new targeted restrictions on travel from eight countries Trump issued on Sept. 24 suffers the same problems as the previous order."

Source:
FORMER ELI LILLY EXEC
Trump Leaning Towards Alex Azar for HHS
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Donald Trump is leaning toward nominating Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical industry executive and George W. Bush administration official, to serve as Health and Human Services secretary, according to two White House officials...Azar is a veteran of HHS. He served as the department’s general counsel and deputy secretary during the Bush administration." He led Eli Lilly's U.S. operations from 2012-17.

Source:
ENOUGH SUPPORT TO PASS?
Senators Reach Bipartisan ACA Deal
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Sen. Lamar Alexander says he and Sen. Patty Murray have reached a deal to fund the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing subsidies in exchange for giving states more regulatory flexibility with the law." Axios is watching to see if the deal will gather support.

Source:
INDEX UP MORE THAN 20% SINCE ELECTION
Dow Jones Hits 23,000 Threshold
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login