Cornyn to Senate Republicans: Instead of primarying the candidates I recruit, come to me with your concerns

posted at 9:26 pm on November 18, 2010 by Allahpundit

Does this qualify as unfair criticism of Jim DeMint? Much depends on the answer, you know.

Sen. John Cornyn said during a closed-door meeting Tuesday that he expects colleagues to bring their concerns to him about candidates he recruits as National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman — and not to help mount challenges against them, Republicans familiar with the meeting said Thursday.

Although not mentioned by name, the Republicans said the Texas lawmaker’s speech was clearly intended for the ears of Sen. Jim DeMint…

While DeMint is still expected to actively support conservative candidates in primaries for open seats or seats held by Democrats, he said Thursday that he has agreed not to “plan” to support primary challengers looking to oust any of his colleagues.

“I have no plans to oppose incumbent Republicans in primaries, but I do plan to play an active role in primaries where there is a Democrat incumbent or an open seat. It’s important that principled candidates like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are not overlooked by our party,” DeMint said.

This new arrangement can work for both of them, I think. For Cornyn, it’s an early warning system that a candidate he’s handpicked for a seat might encounter trouble in the primary. If DeMint had given him a heads up far enough in advance, they might have found a compromise candidate in Delaware superior to both awful RINO Mike Castle and awful “true conservative” Christine O’Donnell. For DeMint, theoretically it gives him a bit more sway over NRSC endorsements plus some political cover if he and Cornyn end up disagreeing on a candidate and he decides to support someone else. “I tried to be a good soldier and warn him that the base wouldn’t support his pick,” he’ll say of Cornyn, “but he didn’t listen, so I have no choice.”

And of course, to some extent, this problem will take care of itself. Cornyn will surely consider “true conservative” candidates more carefully next cycle, if only because he knows primary challenges are likely under certain circumstances even without DeMint stirring anyone up. He’s basically obliged to support Snowe in Maine because she’s already an incumbent senator, but when it comes to centrist types from other levels of government like Charlie Crist — whom the NRSC endorsed before Rubio could even take a breath, to its eternal shame — he’ll tread very, very lightly. In fact, I wonder if he and DeMint will reach some sort of deal about that. No challenges to sitting senators like Snowe, Hatch, and Brown in exchange for increased input from the base in recruiting Republican challengers for the many, many seats Democrats have to defend. That’s basically what DeMint is suggesting in the quoted bit above. Could work.


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BuzzCrutcher on November 18, 2010 at 11:27 PM

That’s not hindsight. Those are links from May 2009 or earlier.

INC on November 18, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Did you read Nelsa’s link above?

Nelsa on November 18, 2010 at 10:08 PM

On May 7th, 2009 NRSC Chairman Cornyn told the Politico:

“…Cornyn added that he will not intervene in a contested primary, in which Crist would be facing former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio. Rubio, a conservative Republican, announced his candidacy Tuesday and has been critical of Crist for supporting President Barack Obama’s stimulus proposal.”

That turned out to be a flat out lie. Five days later the NRSC endorsed Crist even though Rubio was already in the race for senate….

INC on November 18, 2010 at 11:37 PM

We got Michael Williams already warmed up and ready to take KBH down. Help us find a real winner to take out Cornyn in ’14.

gary4205 on November 18, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Ted Poe or Dan Patrick.

Corsair on November 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM

That’s not hindsight. Those are links from May 2009 or earlier.

INC on November 18, 2010

I’ve read several but not all of them. Do any of them address races other than Florida? Maybe I’ve been reading too much of Allah’s doom and gloom but I don’t remember things looking up nationally until that summer at the earliest.

BuzzCrutcher on November 18, 2010 at 11:43 PM

They were all about Florida.

However, McLaughlin’s link made excellent points about the havoc that Crist’s move meant to the Rs in Florida at the time–and that Cornyn was reinforcing that self=serving behavior.

http://www.redstate.com/dan_mclaughlin/2009/05/12/charlie-crist-picks-a-fight-republicans-dont-need/

INC on November 18, 2010 at 11:47 PM

It would have made far more since if Cornyn had told Crist to cool it, run for governor and then run against Nelson in 2012.

Now Crist is toast. And Cornyn’s name is mud.

INC on November 18, 2010 at 11:48 PM

since s/b sense

tired….

INC on November 18, 2010 at 11:49 PM

It’s a nice gesture, but nothing would have saved Delaware. Mike Castle was too easily electable for Cornyn and too liberal for conservatives and the Tea Party.

The NRSC would never have pulled support from Castle for AP’s cynical “compromise.” They would have gone down thinking they know best, like they always do, supporting candidates who will support the Democrat when they lose, if they don’t switch parties outright (Specter).

HitNRun on November 19, 2010 at 12:05 AM

Kill Primary ‘em all, and let God sort ‘em out.

I’m not so keen on kingmakers, weather they follow my personal preferences or not. Stand up, affirm what you believe, get people something to vote for, and then stand by the result.

juanito on November 19, 2010 at 12:08 AM

They were all about Florida.

However, McLaughlin’s link made excellent points about the havoc that Crist’s move meant to the Rs in Florida at the time–and that Cornyn was reinforcing that self=serving behavior.

http://www.redstate.com/dan_mclaughlin/2009/05/12/charlie-crist-picks-a-fight-republicans-dont-need/

INC on November 18, 2010

My point is back in the first half of 2009, Republicans had just come off two cycles where they lost every losable Senate race, and they feared about 6 of their 40/41 Senate seats were at serious risk (FL, OH, KY, NH, maybe even NC and LA). Based on the information available at the time, Cornyn thought he had lined up a guy who could keep the Florida seat safe, without sucking up a lot of money. He turned out to have picked the wrong guy, but it’s not the insane, unthinkable move that people are making it out to be now.

I do stand by my earlier claim that having Crist in the race scared away any strong Dem. candiates. Having a big snake in the house sucks but it does keep the rats away.

With that I will bid you a good night.

BuzzCrutcher on November 19, 2010 at 12:09 AM

We get to 55 senators (possible next time) we can tell those RINOs to kiss off.

michaelo on November 19, 2010 at 12:39 AM

I am much more worried about Lisa Write-insky than Senator DeMint…

Khun Joe on November 19, 2010 at 1:07 AM

LOL, sure thinks he is smart, doesn’t he.

tarpon on November 19, 2010 at 1:58 AM

Never mind Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Joe Miller. What really chaps my hide is the way that the GOP didn’t fight for Peter Schiff in Connecticut, the financial expert who was laughed at for years when he warned time and time again about the conditions setting up the ’08 crash.

Who better to replace the disgraceful, corrupt Christopher Dodd than a guy who had money smarts out the wazoo? Apparently, thought the GOP-eniuses, Linda McMahon, the Mrs. Barnum of WWE Enterlamement. Yeah, she’s run a successful business and knows how to create jobs. That stuff wasn’t enough to top a guy who lied like a bearskin rug about his military service.

Can you imagine Senator Schiff as chair of the Banking Committee or Ways & Means? What could be the downside? Is it possible the GOP didn’t think it could control Schiff?

L.N. Smithee on November 19, 2010 at 2:55 AM

Is it possible the GOP didn’t think it could control Schiff?
L.N. Smithee on November 19, 2010 at 2:55 AM

They’re trying very hard to be as despicable as the Democrats. Stung on the open field, they beg for back room deals.

Claire Wellington: I asked myself, “Where would people never notice a town full of robots?”
[gasps]
Claire Wellington: Connecticut.
The Stepford Wives (2004)

Feedie on November 19, 2010 at 3:15 AM

Demint’s power is rising, that’s all I care about.

Daemonocracy on November 19, 2010 at 3:43 AM

Ted Poe or Dan Patrick.

Corsair on November 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Great minds think alike. I had the exact same conversation with my brother the other day, who was an assistant DA in Harris County when Poe was known as the “hanging judge”. Poe and Patrick are two of the best conservatives around, but don’t get a lot of exposure. It’s time they did!!! I think Williams can beat KBH.

TxAnn56 on November 19, 2010 at 6:36 AM

DeMint knows most of the senate seats will be open for GOP candidates in 2012 because most of the seats are held by Democrats, so I’m sure that was an easy deal for him to make.

He probably also knows there are lots of other groups who are more than willing to go after the RINO incumbents who will be seeking re-election. So DeMint gets a win win.

Done That on November 19, 2010 at 6:42 AM

Isn’t Cornyn up in ’12 or ’14? Maybe he’s trying to save his own azz.

Kafir on November 19, 2010 at 7:00 AM

“I have no plans to oppose incumbent Republicans in primaries…” DeMint said.

RINO establishment traitor!

jnelchef on November 19, 2010 at 7:20 AM

We get to 55 senators (possible next time) we can tell those RINOs to kiss off.

michaelo on November 19, 2010 at 12:39 AM

Really? Since the official Hot Air list of RINOs in the Senate now includes a guy with a 93% ACU rating (Cornyn), you might need more than that.

Besides the people who just got elected (which includes RINOS Kirk and Portman), who in the Senate do you people NOT consider a RINO? I’ll start the list:

DEMINT
SESSIONS (Jeff)
COBURN
INHOFE

Who else currently in the Senate is pure enough for you RINO hunters? Time to name names!

BuzzCrutcher on November 19, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Alan Keyes cannot win in Illinois.

Obama/Keyes vs Kerry/Bush

MSimon on November 19, 2010 at 7:44 AM

Cornyn: “Come to me with your concerns….”
Glenn Beck imitation: “Really???”

Randy

williars on November 19, 2010 at 7:56 AM

Hell no. The establishment has no problem with Lisa Murkowski. Cornyn, respectfully pound sand. From Florida to Alaska you meddled in the process, now deal with it. I for one hope the Tea Party remains an independent thorn in the Republican’s side for many years. 2010 was not game over, but game on.

Angry Dumbo on November 19, 2010 at 8:33 AM

In other words they would like to change their speeches up during the primaries. Of course their votes won’t change.

jeffn21 on November 19, 2010 at 8:34 AM

I’m from Texas. If Cornyn was so tone deaf as to not see the Tea Party wave coming, he needs to consider who he can nominate to replace himself.

Over50 on November 19, 2010 at 8:39 AM

More to the point, Michael Steele did not recruit Charlie Crist to run for Senate. In 2008 we were told by you in the establishment that Charlie Crist was the best we could expect. In all due respect, Senator Cornyn, your candidate selection and crystal ball gazing is better than nobody.

Angry Dumbo on November 19, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Angry Dumbo:

Cornyn “meddled” in the Alaska primary by supporting the incumbent Senator. As I pointed out above, the NRSC has a RULE that they support incumbents in the primary. Always. Same rule covered Specter when he was still a Republican. You may not like the rule but it was in place long before Cornyn was chairman.

As I also pointed out above, Crist looked like a good idea AT THE TIME (early 2009, when it looked like we’d be lucky to hold onto the seats we had).

BuzzCrutcher on November 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM

I’m from Texas, too, and I have two words for John Cornyn:

Go fzck yourself.

Dominion on November 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Cornyn is a RINO, pure and simple. To which I say, “Buh-Bye. You are no longer relevant.”

the_moll on November 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM

We got Michael Williams already warmed up and ready to take KBH down. Help us find a real winner to take out Cornyn in ’14.

gary4205 on November 18, 2010
Maybe Rick after he closes the border???

Col.John Wm. Reed on November 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

If DeMint had given him a heads up far enough in advance, they might have found a compromise candidate in Delaware superior to both awful RINO Mike Castle and awful “true conservative” Christine O’Donnell.

That’s Bulls—. DeMint didn’t even endorse O’Donnell until the Saturday before the primary, after a poll showed her winning. He didn’t give a damn about finding an electable conservative in that race, in fact he didn’t care about that race AT ALL until it appeared that a “RINO” might be in trouble and he could score some points with his far-right fanboys with an 11th-hour endorsement of his opponent.

If DeMint was such a principled conservative leader, why didn’t he back a more conservative candidate in Illinois, or as someone else said earlier in this thread, why didn’t he get behind Peter Schiff in Connecticut?

Jim DeMint doesn’t care about anything but Jim DeMint. John Cornyn is being much nicer to him than he deserves.

rockmom on November 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

DEMINT
SESSIONS (Jeff)
COBURN
INHOFE

Who else currently in the Senate is pure enough for you RINO hunters? Time to name names!

BuzzCrutcher on November 19, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Sessions is a RINO, he didn’t do enough to stop Sotomayor or Kagan or filibuster their nominations when they got to the Senate floor.

/sarcasm off

rockmom on November 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Cornyn is a RINO, pure and simple. To which I say, “Buh-Bye. You are no longer relevant.”

the_moll on November 19, 2010

Boy, this RINO must have an awful voting record. Why don’t you tell us all about it?

BuzzCrutcher on November 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM

/sarcasm off

rockmom on November 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

You had me for a minute there!

BuzzCrutcher on November 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM

The party needs to stay out of primaries. Charlie Crist is the poster boy. Politics is fluid and you need the grass roots, thus a guy like Crist who had 70% favorability was out of step in 18 months. The national party did not know what the grass roots did. Republicans have a history of teeing up candidates so that big money can know who to back – sorry that era is over. The little people who make phone calls and $25 contributions and even blog at HA want their voices heard. Man up, Senator Cornyn.

Angry Dumbo on November 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I’m from Texas, too, and I have two words for John Cornyn:

Go fzck yourself.

Dominion on November 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Ditto for me.

I can’t stand John Cornyn, why don’t we primary him?

Dr Evil on November 19, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Man up, Senator Cornyn.

Angry Dumbo on November 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Cornyn is part of the problem not the solution, the other is Hutchinson. We got a pair of RINOS down here, that need to see serious primary challenges.

Dr Evil on November 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Dr. Evil – agreed. My “man up” reference was meant to be funny. We agree, I’d be happy to see Cornyn get primaried.

Angry Dumbo on November 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Sen. John Cornyn said during a closed-door meeting Tuesday that he expects colleagues to bring their concerns to him about candidates he recruits as National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman

John Cornyn can’t recognize the difference between a rino and a true Republican or Conservative on his own?

Perhaps John needs a different job.

RJL on November 19, 2010 at 2:53 PM

I’m from Texas, too, and I have two words for John Cornyn:

1)Go 2)fzck 3)yourself.

Dominion on November 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

jnelchef on November 20, 2010 at 11:32 AM

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