Beltway Republicans planning to intervene more in GOP primaries

posted at 6:55 pm on January 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

I remember when the NRSC took such intense heat for endorsing Charlie Crist in the primary over Rubio that then-chair John Cornyn vowed to stay out of primaries in the future. Three years and several Sharron Angles/Christine O’Donnells/Todd Akins later, the tune has changed among the broader Republican establishment. Question for readers: Is this worthy of automatic opposition on “damn these establishment RINOs” grounds or is it more of a wait-and-see thing? My sense from the comments here after Akin blew up over his rape remarks was that even a lot of grassroots conservatives wished he’d been torpedoed in the primary by a more electable candidate. Maybe that buys moderates a tiny bit of leeway among the base to push more “electable” candidates. At least until they go and back another Crist.

High-profile Senate Republicans are going to try to pre-empt bloody primaries with aggressive, early recruitment and support — effectively trying to clear fields…

Further, top Senate Republicans have made clear to outside groups that they’d like the third parties to not exist simply as entities that air attack ads against Democrats in general elections but to play a more hands-on role in GOP primaries…

Translation into non-Senate speak: The big-money establishment Republican super PACs like American Crossroads need to serve as a counterbalance in primaries to conservative outfits such as Club for Growth and former Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund…

“To be effective, you have to go well before the primary and identify well-qualified candidates using a number of criteria,” said one source familiar with Crossroads’s thinking. “It’s not who’s more or less conservative, but putting together a more discriminating evaluation of candidates.”…

“When a center-right Republican is in a primary and is being targeted by some group as a RINO, we’re going to make sure we have their back,” said LaTourette. “Not just with speeches and press releases but with money.”

Better recruitment would sound wonderful if not for the fact that the establishment’s talent evaluators decided that this soulless careerist was a worthier candidate than Marco Rubio, a guy who’s already being touted as a potential Republican presidential nominee in 2016. Is there any situation where American Crossroads would endorse a more impressive, more conservative longshot over an ostensibly more “electable” centrist (especially a centrist incumbent)? My agita here isn’t over Steve LaTourette’s RINO Super PAC wading into a primary to try to torpedo a conservative, it’s the fear that it’ll wade in to torpedo impressive conservatives like Mike Lee or Ron Johnson or Pat Toomey or Ted Cruz or any of the other credible right-wing candidates who’ve been elected since 2010. Whom do you trust, among either the establishment or the grassroots, to consistently reliably discern “worthy” candidates from unworthy ones?

At the very least, this’ll be a fun experiment in seeing how far Super PAC money goes. In most cases, being opposed by Crossroads or the NRSC or whoever will be a badge of honor and mark of credibility for a tea-party upstart; will that mean doom for the establishment candidate on election day or can the ad blitz on his behalf buy the primary for Joe Beltway? And won’t this ultimately mean more right-wing dollars overall being spent on Republican primaries than on general elections? That’s safe in a red state, not so much in a purple one.

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The Republicans are screwed in so many ways they might as well switch to making nails.

Sherman1864 on January 5, 2013 at 1:12 AM

I personally think Akin verges on retardation. I can not believe he is a success in anything. I am really tired of fools. The Democrat fools always get a pass. But we must face the fact that is not the case for GOP idiots.

pat on January 5, 2013 at 1:25 AM

He came to Christianity in his 30s, a salesman for IBM, scion of the leading steel manufacturing fortune in St. Louis, served in the Army, was a leading strong fiscal conservative, not quite the caricature you were informed about,

narciso on January 5, 2013 at 1:29 AM

There you go again.

Stating Propaganda as fact.

Fact is Mitt proved he was not electable by losing. Thus 100% we know he was the wrong choice. Only way to know if they others would have won it is to have run them. Opinion is not fact. It is Propaganda when presented as fact. Hitler would love you I do not.

I can not prove Santorum would have won. I am of the opinion he would have. You disagree but so what. I know Mitt could not win 100%. You lie if you say that about Santorum.

Steveangell on January 4, 2013 at 11:53 PM

And there you go again.

If the world worked like this everyone would be winners after the lottery numbers were picked.

Hindsight is 20/20. Blah blah blah.

For instance, I know beforehand that any post of yours will be full of wonder and amusement and I’m very rarely ever wrong. Where’s my prize?

You guys are so funny AFTER the fact going on about winners and losers.

The fact of the matter is that the nominees are out of most of our hands at this point in time. The future? Well, Kreskin what does your crystal ball tell you? Or is it more like “Stopped Clock”.

However, for most of us mortals who aren’t psychics we take what is offered and make the best choice available.

You kill me though. *two months after election in self important voice* “I know Romney lost the election and I think that Santorum would have won, but I can’t prove it”.


kim roy on January 5, 2013 at 2:29 AM

A couple of comments on the comments. First, Christine O’Donnell, the media attacks on her were, in some ways, more ruthless than they were against Sarah Palin. Is the standard now something someone says when they’re 18-19 years old? By the time the press was finished with her, no one knew whether she had a brain or not because she was too busy answering witch questions. When the sycophant media supports the Democrat, like they did in Delaware, winning is extremely difficult, for anyone.

Secondly, Newt would have been a harder election for Obama. Playing the class-warfare card would have been a lot more difficult against Gingrich and Newt would have forced the election to be a battle of ideas and wouldn’t have allowed the press to create a false narrative, all of which Romney did. If you asked the Obama voters what Romney stood for, all they would talk about is the 47% comment and nothing else. Sorry, you can’t win when that is the narrative.

Finally, the Republicans have a media problem and they’d better deal with it. It was the media, as much as the candidates, who drove the Republican candidates down. It’s one thing to say something stupid, any candidate can do that, it’s quite another for the press to play it up day in and day out. If, during the 24 hour news cycle, all anyone ever hears about you is your gaffe, you’ll never get to talk about what you stand for or against.

bflat879 on January 5, 2013 at 12:16 AM

Perhaps the thing that is starting to come to light, and scaring these Establishment Types is the fact that some people are bloody well tired of being stabbed in the back and would rather nominate someone they know will be loyal to them or, if they lose, at least they will see the knife coming.

jaydee_007 on January 5, 2013 at 4:08 AM

Because what we need more than anything is more jive turkey!

Lonetown on January 5, 2013 at 5:12 AM

I support anything they do to alienate and drive conservatives to a 3rd party. The repubs should just name the candidates without holding primaries, voters be damned.

Panther on January 5, 2013 at 5:26 AM

From the idiots who brought you a presidential candidate who didn’t want to run, who then lost to a President who was so GD beatable that it’s sickening.


Where are the Whigs when we need them?

FiveG on January 5, 2013 at 6:15 AM

For every Sharron Angles/Christine O’Donnells/Todd Akins they can name, I can come back with a bunch of Marco Rubios/Rand Pauls/Tim Scotts. More RINOs aren’t the answer, better conservatives are.

ncborn on January 5, 2013 at 6:20 AM

What is it with this ‘conservative’ obsession with Rubio? He’s an unapologetic open borders guy.

Our open borders is the most important single issue by far. If we continue to flood the country with immigrants who vote racist and socialist (and make no mistake, they and their children overwhelmingly do), America is finished. Everything else becomes moot.

fadetogray on January 5, 2013 at 7:48 AM

What’s the difference who gets elected or their promises? Once elected they get indoctrinated into the fraternity of politics and they do as they are told. We have a perfect example of this now in the White House. Vetted by the media, EO’d to his history, an English vocabulary and manners a click above a street person and a mystery as to the pulling of the strings. If you don’t think there’s a government within this government you need help.

mixplix on January 5, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Senate Republicans interfering in primaries where the rightful owners of this country exercize their own choice?

Gee, the next thing you know, the GOP will be shutting down peoples favorite potential candidates, before they even get to vote on them, like say, Sarah Palin or tea party members that they fear so much…

Naw, that would never happen in America, would it?

Don L on January 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM

…Opinion is not fact. It is Propaganda when presented as fact….

Steveangell on January 4, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Sorry, but methinks you’re wrong on both counts. Opinion can indeed be factual and propaganda is but a particular method of desseminating information–not limited to lies and deceit but is also used to get facts/truth/reality out to the masses. Just because some despots and our left abuse and misuse propaganda to lie and decieve doesn’t make it an evil thing. In fact, no less than the Catholic Church’s Vatican II documents speak to the need to use it to communicate truth.

Don L on January 5, 2013 at 8:08 AM

And Propaganda can become ‘agreed upon’ truth, like what they will be rewarding next week, at the Golden Globes, now the notion of LaTourette SuperPac, is an oxymoron, like ‘jumbo shrimp,’

narciso on January 5, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Is this worthy of automatic opposition on “damn these establishment RINOs” grounds or is it more of a wait-and-see thing?

How about the response be something along the lines of “Throw every hypocritical career politicians out of office come next election and replace them with people who will actually be in office serving the people who voted for them, instead of the damned political party being represented!”?

I think that would be one hell of a decent place to start!

pilamaye on January 5, 2013 at 8:41 AM

When Establishment Republicans behave as if they have they have more in common with the opposition party than the majority of Americans who had to vote for them, because they had no other other choice, you’ve got a problem.

kingsjester on January 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM

There are two serious concerns, one is that popular grassroots candidates appear and run for an office beyond their grasp and their experience. It is hard to wage a Senate campaign when you have not tried, Mayor, or selectman, or state senator…gee there are so many levels at which candidates can prove themselves. I am all for business experience, but our candidates have so much more thrown at them the more power the office bears. The media usually ignores R candidates or puts on only the news where it sounds like something went wrong.

In Missouri, Romney won by 65% and Akin lost.

In Indiana, Romney won by 55% and Mourdock lost.

It is time NOW to talk about party issues, and don’t give in to the media fracturing of conservatives. There are quite a few media forces that are pushing libertarian third party or tea party third party that won’t help in 2016.

One thing that would help is for party activists to put on boot camps, now, I know you are tired, worn out…but the wolf is at the door.

And when you read this kind of top down dictatorial article, ask who is putting it out and how they benefit. These articles are placed to agitate.

When you see forces pushing a Crist and locals know there is a Rubio on the ground, the lines of communication are not working. When you see Sarah Palin endorse a candidate in Missouri and forces combine to defeat her…what does that mean? To me it means Sarah makes her evaluation/recommendation some other way, more privately. Akin was NOT Sarah’s candidate. And the republican party in Missouri had fuzzy rules that could not help, that you don’t know about until you have a problem. Where grass roots activists want to help, you might need more time for the primary process, and some of it behind closed doors?

It is clear that the democrats pick their powerful candidates from the top down in the big blue states. It is rigid, women don’t get a chance, and democrats are used to just parroting after their candidates. Our idealism says: grassroots and citizen legislators, but we are up against a lot. Communicating even with our own people is hard. The media will not communicate our messages back up to our leaders. Definitely not all the way back to Washington, they tell them what it says in the Gallup Poll.

My first recommendation for 2014 is: Huckabee works until the last minute at Fox. The Arkansas republicans wait for him. If he would make the sacrifice, he would be a nice Senate candidate for 2014. Make the plan, keep it under wraps. Debate internally behind closed doors, not where the media can make fun of us, and include local republicans in the states. When McDonnel ran, her local state republicans were shocked that she won, and did not get behind her, they did not even want to save face…or win. There is An obligation to campaign if we support you in the primary, for whoever wins.

Think about these character flaws in wanting everything your own way. Make plans and talk about what can go wrong, and get primary candidates to sign that they will campaign for R even if they lose. I did not see Santorum campaigning much for Romney in his homestate of VA. That is a character flaw, he could have done it big in his homestate of PA too.

Fleuries on January 5, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Huckabee was the one who pushed for Akin, after McCaskill, Murdock was the State Treasurer, who fought the Obama administration’s auto
takeover, Lugar was the backstabbing weasel who sat on his hands,

narciso on January 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

What’s the difference who gets elected or their promises? Once elected they get indoctrinated into the fraternity of politics and they do as they are told. We have a perfect example of this now in the White House. Vetted by the media, EO’d to his history, an English vocabulary and manners a click above a street person and a mystery as to the pulling of the strings. If you don’t think there’s a government within this government you need help.

mixplix on January 5, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Exactly. All those tea-party-supported GOP representatives voted to keep Boneless in the speaker’s chair. I’m convinced there’s a lot of alien pods surrounding the Capitol.

TMOverbeck on January 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM

The “Beltway GOP”, IMHO , opts to run the same campaign as they found successful in 2000 for “W”. Allow the left to fling lies at will, yet ‘act presidential’ ‘stay above the fray’.

With the shift in demographics and media, though, they need to change. The media shift has many more voters getting TMZ and E! Info rather than edited sound clips from networks. Hence the rise of the under-informed voter.

Additionally, they ignore that off-year elections are different from presidential year elections. They scratch their heads after getting clobbered, and then consider themselves genius after inching back a little bit some two years later. Hey, Einsteins, the low information voter is less inclined to vote the off years— the turn out numbers and results demonstrated that to even a first year Poli-Sci major.

Finally, the Beltway Gurus need to get the White House ‘right’ before they start monkeying with primaries. They’ll end up pissing off the base and have Prez ‘Plugs’ to deal with for 8 years. No thank you, please.

socalcon on January 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM

In short: had the Beltway GOP been part of the Founding Fathers, the U.S. would be a monarchy.

socalcon on January 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Three years and several Sharron Angles/Christine O’Donnells/Todd Akins later

Angle and Akin are both really stupid examples. In the case of Angle, the establishment alternative to her was some nut who thought the key to fixing health care was bartering with live poultry at the hospital. She would have been just as big a disaster as Angle. The other guy running never got any momentum and finished a distant third in the primary. Akin only won with thirty some percent, with the grassroots split between Steelman and the other guy.

And the GOPe didn’t do so hot themselves. Tommy Thompson lost to an extreme lefty moonbat in a state that had just overwhelmingly reelected solidly conservative Scott Walker and the even more solidly conservative Rebecca Kleefisch in the recall election. Allen lost in Virginia, Mack lost in Florida, and Berg lost in North Dakota. North Dakota especially should have been a cakewalk.

Walter Sobchak on January 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Just to be clear, I am no longer a Republican. As this site says, it is for conservatives.

Hot Air is the leading conservative blog for breaking news and commentary covering the Republican primary, the 2012 election, politics, media, and culture.

In fact, I doubt there will be too many down tickets I even waste my time filling an oval in for in the future unless something drastic changes within the Republican party.

astonerii on January 4, 2013 at 7:04 PM

The claim of “conservative blog” is a joke.

Amjean on January 5, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I am done with the Republican party and its mealy-mouthed, spineless leadership. I will never again cast a ballot in a national election until there is a viable, conservative 3rd party, or the hypocritical, “Democrat Lite” leadership is replaced with true conservatives who actually follow through on their words. Enough is enough. I am fed up.

Ray-500 on January 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Your obsession and anger towards not being hailed as a visionary has made you incoherent.

kim roy on January 4, 2013 at 10:26 PM

I don’t care if I and others who were saying the same thing and taking the same abuse are “hailed as visionaries”. The problem is dumb f*cks like you running around trying to make people think you’re up on it.

ddrintn on January 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM

By the way, here were a couple of ‘bot “visionaries”:

Yeah, but..once we have secured a Romney win, can we start ripping the trolls to shreds?

Please, please, please?

Liam on November 6, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I doubt they will still be here for the deserved mocking that will begin.

IowaWoman on November 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM


ddrintn on January 5, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Just like Santelli sparked the Tea Party movement with his passionate comments, we need a Conservative to give a passionate speech about why he is leaving for a third party and Conservatives will follow.

Decoski on January 5, 2013 at 11:46 PM

The problem is dumb f*cks like you running around trying to make people think you’re up on it.

ddrintn on January 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM

roflmaao..You of all folks calling someone really are a kook!!..:)

Dire Straits on January 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM

The problem is dumb f*cks like you running around trying to make people think you’re up on it.

ddrintn on January 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM

roflmao..You of all folks calling someone really are a kook!!..:)

Dire Straits on January 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM


Dire Straits on January 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

this is one conservative that wished the good old boys in DC and had stuck with Akin and not trown him under the bus. Ann Coulter and a few more needed to keep theiroouths shut . Money was with held until the very last minute when it was to late. He would of been a good CONSERVATIVE in DC–not many left.

Bullhead on January 7, 2013 at 12:20 AM

What the RINOs can’t comprehend is they are now the third party. RINOS, “moderates” or whatever label you give them will not change they cannot win on a national level.

volsense on January 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM