In contrast to what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said this morning, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh argued this afternoon that Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, was left high and dry by the powers that be in the Republican Party yesterday. This race was eminently winnable, he said, and the GOP establishment let it slip through their fingertips -- on purpose.
Politico picked up the transcript:
“I’ll tell you, it’s a shame what happened to Ken Cuccinelli because he was betrayed by his own party,” Limbaugh said, according to a transcript. “… But the Republican establishment, they’re out there, ‘Well, he’s unelectable, he’s tea party. He’s unelectable. He can’t win anything.’ They didn’t want him to win. This is the dirty little secret. I don’t think it’s even a secret now. I’m telling you, such is the animus toward the tea party in the Republican party establishment that they are perfectly comfortable with a Christie win and a Cuccinelli loss because to them that’s a tea party loss.”
“So now the Republican establishment can run around and claim the tea party is an albatross around their neck,” he said.
He added that Chris Christie is the GOP establishment’s favored son, despite the fact that polls show him losing to Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup in his own state:
“For one, I’m tired of the media picking our candidates for us, and they’re trying to do it here,” Limbaugh added, pointing out that in New Jersey in an exit poll Hillary Clinton beat Christie “in a presidential contest by four to six points.”
Guy raised some important questions this afternoon. For example, why did the RNC spend significantly less money in Virginia in 2013 than they did in 2009? Were they hedging their bets? At the same time, why were the big time conservative donors nowhere to be found? Also, the general consensus was that Cuccinelli was going to lose this race (and lose big) and so many GOP grassroots activists completely wrote him off -- especially at the end. This was a huge factor in the outcome of the race. Indeed, Cuccinelli himself noted last night during his concession speech that he was outspent by $15 million. How was he supposed to compete against such unfavorable odds? Yes, Christie famously refused to stump for him, but he probably did so for the very same reason conservatives didn’t donate to his campaign: They didn’t think he could win. It’s a miracle he only lost by as small a margin as he did. This was an across-the-board failure, and all factions of the GOP, I think, should bear at least some responsibility.
But Rush is right. The big loser in all of this? Ken Cuccinelli. He would have been a good governor, too.