After Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli narrowly lost his bid for governor last night to Terry McAuliffe, many Republicans -- and conservatives, in particular -- are asking a lot of questions about why the Republican candidate was so handily outspent. Pushing back on the narrative that the RNC is somehow solely responsible, Chairman Reince Priebus told Townhall that the RNC did its job -- and did it commendably:
“The RNC’s mission is to pay and fund a ground operation,” he said. “ Our mission is not to buy unlimited ads on television. And we ran and put together two incredibly well-run ground operations in Virginia and New Jersey. And the Virginia GOP, the New Jersey GOP, the Cuccinelli campaign and the Christie campaign all did an incredible job along with the RNC in running that ground operation. There is no doubt that without that mission accomplished in Virginia that this race wouldn’t have been as close as it was.”
He added: “[N]obody is complaining about the ground operation in Virginia. We sat down early with the campaign[s] -- in both New Jersey and Virginia -- [and decided] the RNC’s role was to fund the ground operation. And it was very well done.”
Townhall asked if there was anything else the RNC could have done -- or perhaps done better -- to put Cuccinelli over the finish line:
“Certainly,” he said. “You always want to do more. And obviously if there was some consistent tracking showing a two or three point race -- yeah, maybe you go to the bank and you borrow money. Listen, there’s always room to look back and arm-chair quarterback. But given the circumstances and the mission of the RNC -- which is to fund the ground operation -- we did that. And actually the ground operation was well done.”
As of this writing, the RNC spent roughly three times as much money in Virginia than the DNC.