Simmons dropping out?

posted at 8:48 am on May 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After losing the Connecticut GOP endorsement at the state convention on Friday to Linda McMahon, most people presumed that former Congressman Rob Simmons would fight on to the primary.  Peter Schiff had already pledged primary fight, and Simmons hinted to me on Thursday that the convention wouldn’t settle anything.  Now, however, the Connecticut Mirror reports that Simmons has told his staff that he will withdraw from the race:

A Republican source says Rob Simmons told his staff Monday he will end his campaign for U.S. Senate at a press conference today in New London.

On Monday night, Simmons called a press conference for 9 a.m. in New London to make an “announcement on the future of the campaign for U.S. Senate,” immediately prompting speculation he was dropping out. …

But a source who declined to be identified said that Simmons staff was told the campaign was ending, bowing to the difficulties of fighting the best-financed candidate in Connecticut history: McMahon, a co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment who is seeking office for the first time.

McMahon, who had contributed $16 million to her campaign by May 1, is on pace to break all campaign spending records in the state by the Fourth of July. She says she has budgeted $50 million of her personal fortune in an effort to become the first Connecticut Republican to win a Senate race since Lowell P. Weicker Jr. in 1982.

Simmons, a former three-term congressman and decorated Vietnam veteran, hoped that delegates to the Republican State Convention last weekend would judge him the best opponent to face Democrat Richard Blumenthal, who has been on the defensive for the past week over his misrepresentation of his military record.

We’ll know more later this morning.  It may be that Simmons saw too much of an uphill battle in fighting a candidate with a bottomless checkbook and the party endorsement going into the primary.  According to the Mirror, Simmons had an opportunity to switch candidacies a few weeks ago in order to avoid that confrontation, with Republicans urging him to seek his old seat in the House instead of fighting for the Senate seat.  Simmons thought that his military experience would trump McMahon’s self-funding and outsider status, especially after Richard Blumenthal’s exposure as a military-service fabulist.

If Simmons drops out, Schiff is out of luck.  He didn’t win enough votes at the convention to force a primary, where it takes 15% of the ballots to allow for a primary fight.  He could file petitions to attempt to qualify for a primary, but he only has a couple of weeks to do so — and Schiff will have even less standing than Simmons in a primary fight, thanks to his poor convention showing, and he’d face the same self-funding buzz saw.  Schiff has been a favorite of fiscal-conservative activists around the country, but it hasn’t translated to support in Connecticut.  Schiff needed Simmons to demand a primary in order to guarantee one.

By the end of the day, Linda McMahon probably will have the nomination, if the Mirror has reliable sourcing on this story.


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Linda must’ve sent Triple H with the sledgehammer over to Simmons’ home.

Doughboy on May 25, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Q: Linda, how will you help out this economy?

L: I will cut taxes and lower spending for all the hard working people of Connecticut. I will put food on the table and money in the pockets and create jobs for all Connecticans.

Q: Linda, how will you do that though?

L: I will cut taxes and lower spending for all the hard working people of Connecticut. I will put food on the table and money in the pockets and create jobs for all Connecticans.

That’s what you’ll hear coming from Linda.

Notorious GOP on May 25, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Tis the season for Republican woman to save a party that lost it’s way, lost it guts, lots it manliness, lost much of it’s integrity. Take a good look at Lindsey Gramnesty for a quality example of why it is now necessary for these brave woman to step up and save the country.

Keemo on May 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM

I think a primary fight would be better for both of them… if they keep it mostly focused on blumenthal…

ninjapirate on May 25, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Peter Schiff FTW… He wants to filibuster any vote to raise the debt ceiling. What’s the point of electing this wwf chick?

ebrawer on May 25, 2010 at 8:57 AM

OT: Drudge says “POLL: Obama Approval Falls to New Low: 42%… Developing…”

I assume he means Rasmussen. I don’t know if it’s the DOW or the oil spill(or both), but neither are going away anytime soon, so Barry could be settling into the low 40′s for a while.

Doughboy on May 25, 2010 at 8:58 AM

I like Rob Simmons. He seems to be a man of honor. It would be nice if “Agent Orange” in Florida could show some of the same honor.

Dire Straits on May 25, 2010 at 9:01 AM

lllllllllllLLLLLLLLLLLLLLeeeetttsssss get ready to rummmmbblllee!

Bishop on May 25, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Take a good look at Lindsey Gramnesty for a quality example of why it is now necessary for these brave woman to step up and save the country.

Keemo on May 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM

That’s exactly the same rhetoric that gave us Pelosi, Boxer, and Feinstein…it is the best candidate we are looking for, gender has nothing to do with it.
You must love Ginsburg and Hillary…

right2bright on May 25, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I live in Connecticut. I’ve heard Peter Schiff speak, and I like what he has to say, but there is no way he could get elected in this insane state.

I think that Linda is something of a RINO, but squishy Republican elected is a lot better than leftist thug phony vet elected.

Blumenthal has not fought a seriously contested election in decades, and he’s a bully as well as a liar. I think he’ll fold like a cheap suit when McMahon stands up to him – she’s got the money and the street-fighter instincts to go for Blumenthal’s jugular that are necessary to win in this very blue state.

CatoRenasci on May 25, 2010 at 9:07 AM

he’d make linda a fine chief of staff

reliapundit on May 25, 2010 at 9:07 AM

right2bright on May 25, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Save it pal…

Keemo on May 25, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Keemo on May 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Yah, there might be something to Simmons being a former three term congressman, maybe too much insider status on a candidate again.

I don’t mind that Simmons thought he would make a better candidate to run against lying trash Bloomers, but if the citizens of CT wouldn’t automatically run from Blumenthal just for being a sack of crap then it might not have mattered.

Bishop on May 25, 2010 at 9:10 AM

CatoRenasci on May 25, 2010 at 9:07 AM

have you heard anything from Vincent Forras up there?

blatantblue on May 25, 2010 at 9:11 AM

right2bright on May 25, 2010 at 9:04 AM

dude! relax

blatantblue on May 25, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Sarah Palin and Michelle Bauchmann are taking it to the enemy like the GOP men should have been doing for the past few decades. Fight fire with fire. The truth is a very powerful weapon when applied by a person who can articulate the truth without distraction or loss of focus. It is what it is, and I’m very grateful to have such woman on my side fighting the righteous battle. Men will step up and follow the lead; however, men who have been around for the past several years and did not engage in the battle, will likely be purged. I’m good with that.

Keemo on May 25, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I saw a report on Blumenthal today, really looks like he’d be to the left of Zero. I’d vote for his opponent even if it was a paper bag.

Marcus on May 25, 2010 at 9:23 AM

She says she has budgeted $50 million of her personal fortune

Yes, but in great wrestling tradition, it’s fake money.

Daggett on May 25, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Yes, but in great wrestling tradition, it’s fake money.

Daggett on May 25, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Sadly that seems to be how Congress treats our tax dollars.

Doughboy on May 25, 2010 at 9:30 AM

During the first debate Linda will crack a folding chair across Blumenthal’s back and then yell “Snap into a Slim Jim!”

Bishop on May 25, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Schiff should be able to pull a Lieberman if he goes it alone.

abobo on May 25, 2010 at 9:30 AM

This is good news. We can’t have damaging primaries. We need to save our strength for November.

Dan Pet on May 25, 2010 at 9:31 AM

OT, but oh so saa-weeet! From Drudge-

POLL: Obama Approval Falls to New Low: 42%… Developing…

This nis an all time low and considering Drudge usually relies on Ras, this is on a 3 day rolling avg. Yesterday was 44% which was an all time low., to move a rooling avg 2pts in a day against the 2 previous shows the Obamanable One #’s are plumeting!

Oh, talk dirty to me baby, I like it!

Archimedes on May 25, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Archimedes on May 25, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Cracking me up comrade! :-)

Keemo on May 25, 2010 at 9:37 AM

During the first debate Linda will crack a folding chair across Blumenthal’s back and then yell “Snap into a Slim Jim!”

Bishop on May 25, 2010 at 9:30 AM

No, she’ll distract the moderator while having her son-in-law, Triple H, hit Blumenthal with a sledgehammer. Then her husband Vince will come out and say “Richard Blumenthal…. YOUUUUUU’RE FIRRRRRED!”

teke184 on May 25, 2010 at 9:39 AM

I’m sorry to see this. I thought Simmons would make the better candidate to field against Blumey. I think too many CT voters will see “money” trying to buy a seat (a la Romney).

She is uninspiring and all of her thoughts appear too simplistic and rehashed talking points. She needs to offer dynamic solutions to CT’s problems first and forget about generalizing on broad themes facing the country as a whole.
This reminds me of NY-23 where the local Republican nabobs picked the wrong horse. Both McMahon and the Repub choice for governor are from Greenwich just a stone’s throw from NY. How would this play down east in New London and Groton?

Bob in VA on May 25, 2010 at 9:47 AM

This is good news. We can’t have damaging primaries. We need to save our strength for November.

Dan Pet on May 25, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Not so sure about this. Simmons, as a REAL veteran, would be better equipped to take down Blumenthal on his lying about his military record, and it’s not clear whether Linda can win a debate against Blumenthal.

One problem with the CT primary is its date, in early August, when most people are thinking about other things besides politics, and this tends to depress turnout.

McMahon has sent out lots of mailers bashing Simmons as a RINO and the best friend of Nancy Pelosi. Will she have the same attitude against Blumenthal?

Steve Z on May 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Come On Lets Git it On!

Oh thats the real thing, the UFC!

Lets hope McMahon is a real Republican and not a McCain or Grahamn Republican.
Republican at campaign time only!

dhunter on May 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

It may be that Simmons saw too much of an uphill battle in fighting a candidate with a bottomless checkbook and the party endorsement going into the primary.

That’s it Ed, she has already spent $16M and can spend 10-15X what Simmons can so he’s bowing to the inevitable. The Senate is becoming a “rich people only” club.

I think CT Republicans are going to end up with buyer’s remorse in going for the money candidate. The Dems are going to hit her with the biggest October surprise imaginable and she dropped the Vietnam thing way too early on Blumie.

jnelchef on May 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Even as we sit here now, major assignments are being handed out and e-mails shipped from the big media sites down in New York notifying people that the major campaign issue they’ll be covering this fall in the Connecticut race for U.S. Senate will be steroids in pro wrestling.

jon1979 on May 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Lets hope McMahon is a real Republican and not a McCain or Grahamn Republican.
Republican at campaign time only!

dhunter on May 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Unfortunately, there’s more truth in wrestling than there is to her Republican credentials.

jnelchef on May 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM

And the worst part of it is, that Simmons may have actually had more votes in the initial round of voting. I said this before in the Convention thread, but each round of voting is a two stage process. Each town votes, alphabetically by district (this year the order was 3rd, 4th, 5th, 1st, 2nd), and then they go round again, for the switches. After the first half, Simmons was pretty much tied with McMahon, but Schiff’s voters didn’t get the word that he wanted them to go to Simmons till after the 3rd and 4th districts had gone.

If all Simmons’ original delegates had sat firm, he probably would have won the first vote, but he might not have reached the 50%+1 for the nomination, since only some of the Schiff votes switched, and those were split between him and McMahon. It was late and it looked like Linda was ahead by the time that we had finished polling the 4th for their switches. We suspect that folks didn’t want to have to do another round of voting (we probably would have been there till after 2am) so a lot of Simmons folks changed to McMahon.

I would rather have stayed there ’til 2.

I’ll sign Schiff’s petition, though I don’t think it will do much good. I’d really rather be able to vote FOR someone in November than vote AGAINST Bluenthal, but that’s what I’ll do if necessary.

It will be an interesting campaign season. Interesting in the Chinese proverb definition in interesting.

LibraryGryffon on May 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

She seem to be a strong republican she from what heard is a strong supporter of tax cuts. Plus she is a business woman know about wasting spending. Just remember let separate her from what her husband does ok. Let’s remember at least she not a lib.

bessex on May 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Any chance Mr. Simmons can qualify to run for Senate in NY, where the GOP can’t find a credible candidate to run against Gillibrand or Schumer???

phreshone on May 25, 2010 at 10:41 AM

OOH Yeah!!!

Caper29 on May 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Ron Simmons says it best…

Wolftech on May 25, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Linda McMahon or Dick Blumenthal?
Might as well be Don King and Al Sharpton.

Good luck with that because I’m not voting.

Rocks on May 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I’m not a feminist but woman have always had to be strong, from the pioneer to the modern day.
They have always had to step up and pull the wagon when necessary.
From Rosie the Riveter to Single Moms, when they lost their men to war,divorce or whatever.
As the old saying ” Behind every great man there is a woman pushing him”

Most woman have priorities, Family,Country and God.

Most men have have priorities,S##, Power,and Money

concernedsenior on May 25, 2010 at 12:14 PM

She seem to be a strong republican she from what heard is a strong supporter of tax cuts. Plus she is a business woman know about wasting spending. Just remember let separate her from what her husband does ok. Let’s remember at least she not a lib.

bessex on May 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

She gave twice as much money to Democrats in 2006 as she did to Republicans to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. All we have to go on is what she puts in her 30 second commercials and mailers. Try taking that to the bank after she’s elected. As for separating her from what her husband does, I thought she was the CEO and that that was her primary qualification for being a Senator? Vote for me, I ran a successful company but don’t hold me responsible for what that companies sells? Yeah, that will work in November! Not a lib? We don’t know what she is except for the humiliating circus she’s created to make her money. Dems are going to hang that around her neck and around the neck of every Republican on the CT ballot this year. It won’t be pretty.

jnelchef on May 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Maybe we should elect nothing but billionaires.

Why? How do you bribe a guy who already has a billion dollars? There’s no upside to it.

BobMbx on May 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Schiff Statement on Simmons Announcement
Tue, May 25, 2010

Economist, author, and Connecticut candidate for U.S. Senate Peter Schiff made the following comments about the recent end to Rob Simmons’ campaign for Senate:

“Rob Simmons brought energy to this race and ran an honorable campaign. His voice will be missed in this debate. His service to our country and our state will not be forgotten. This is now, however, a two-person campaign and one to which I look forward and intend to win. There are many differences between Linda McMahon and myself, and over the course of the coming weeks, I will demonstrate to the voters of Connecticut who I am, what I stand for, and why I am the top choice among those who want to bring meaningful change to Washington. I am a true political outsider and real grassroots candidate. There is a reason why I am the choice of Tea Party leaders, political newcomers and independents, and why Linda McMahon, the darling of the establishment, has become the ultimate insider. Those reasons will become clear over the next several weeks.”

Rae on May 25, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Too bad. I really wanted to see a general election battle between the real Vietnam vet (Simmons) and the fake one (Blumenthal).

Ward Cleaver on May 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Interviewer: Do you hate Blumenthal?
Linda McMahon: No, I don’t hate Blumenthal. I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got!

Interviewer: What’s your prediction for the campaign?
Linda McMahon: My prediction?
Interviewer: Yes, your prediction.
[Linda looks into camera]
Linda McMahon: Pain!

mrt721 on May 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Richard Blumenthal continued to discuss the controversy over his war record. “I misspoke terribly when I said Vietnam…..I meant to embellish on the things I did at the Battle of the Bulge.”

olesparkie on May 25, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Damn! No Flying Frankenstein? Awwww…

Philly on May 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

I live in CT, she is an empty suit looking to buy a seat.

gdonovan on May 25, 2010 at 7:09 PM