The American Conservative Union’s PAC arranged for a conference call with media and bloggers this evening to discuss the events of the last 48 hours. Among the participants — Matt Burns, a former spokesperson for Dede Scozzafava. Stacy McCain and Eric Odom, who first broke the news of Scozzafava’s withdrawal from the race yesterday, joined as “special guests” of the call.
Burns said he didn’t relish being on the defensive from conservative bloggers, but that he came back to NY-23 to elect a Republican. He worked hard for Scozzafava, and at the end, she withdrew in order to keep the district Republican. Burns apparently got surprised by Scozzafava’s decision today, and he wanted to stress that only one person in the race would now be a vote against Nancy Pelosi, and that is Doug Hoffman.
Burns said he agreed with Newt Gingrich that we need a big tent in order to win enough seats to have power. However, now in NY-23 the important thing is to elect someone who will oppose Pelosi. Stacy asked how the RNC and the NRCC got it so wrong, but Burns said the decision was made by the local leaders, not the national party. John Hawkins asked if the NRCC spent $900,000 on Scozzafava; all Burns would say is that the NRCC provided “substantial” support.
The Hoffman campaign says they are now seeing a lot of local Republicans are now flocking to Hoffman. They believe they still will have a problem with a couple of the county GOP leaders, mainly because they’re likely embarrassed how their selection turned out. As a result, the Hoffman campaign needs an influx of volunteers in NY-23, especially in a couple of the Scozzafava counties. The RNC and NRCC are now directing resources to the Hoffman team, but they need boots already on the ground in the district.