Campaign 2010

May 28, 2004

So It Begins…

As the rift in the GOP has continued to grow, exemplified best by Hastert’s ignominious attack on John McCain, or perhaps the dueling set of talking points on Abu Ghraib for House and Senate GOPers, we have speculated that the Republican caucus might have to go into November picking sides between the McCain wing (which includes him and a couple other Senators thus far) and the DeLay wing (which has included just about everybody else).  Consider this the first sign of a mutiny:

When asked who he’d like to invite to campaign with him, [Rep. Simmons (R-CT2)] mentions Arizona Sen. John McCain, an outspoken Bush critic on several issues. “We have a lot in common,” Simmons says. He did ask first lady Laura Bush to visit in March, and she helped raise $100,000 for his campaign. But he doesn’t intend to extend a similar invitation to the president.

Simmons is vulnerable as can be, and our primary in the district has two very solid candidates running.  In that same article, we get this insight from a former Contractor on America:

 

House Republicans “can get tarred if things don’t go well” in Iraq, Republican pollster Frank Luntz says. He considers Simmons’ district a bellwether for the nation. Bush’s slide in national polls “creates an emotional drag” that could “make Republicans depressed and could have a negative impact on turnout,” he says.

And as for the Abu Ghraib issue, which clearly threatens to continue widening the rift:

 

He wonders “who is taking the heat” for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. When asked about Stephen Cambone, the undersecretary of Defense for intelligence who struggled under withering questioning about the prison scandal at recent congressional hearings, Simmons made a slashing motion across his neck in a sign that the official’s days at the Pentagon should be numbered.

But there’s a little problem for people like Simmons trying to distance themselves from DeLay’s garbage: according to Congressional Quarterly, Simmons voted with DeLay on 88% of roll call votes - 620 out of 706 votes cast by the two of them.  GOPers have been comforting themselves with the fact that November is still five months ahead - have fun sorting this stuff out guys….


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