NRSC Head Supporting Specter Over Toomey

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Apr 14, 2009 9:02 AM
The Washington Post reports,
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has written a letter to fellow Republicans asking them to support Specter.

"While I doubt Arlen could win an election in my home state of Texas, I am certain that I could not get elected in Pennsylvania," Cornyn wrote. "I believe that Senator Specter is our best bet to keep this Senate seat in the GOP column."

Of course, it is to be expected that the NRSC -- charged with electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate -- would support with an incumbent in a primary.  The only time that I can recall them not supporting the incumbent was when the NRSC covertly conspired to oust reliably conservative New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith (who had briefly left the GOP) and to replace him with the less reliably conservative John Sununu.  ... But even that was under the radar, so to speak.

While one can not fault the NRSC for not embracing conservative former Congressman Pat Toomey's challenge, their public support of Specter -- one of only three Republicans in Congress to support Obama's stimulus -- clearly demonstrates the NRSC is not in the business of electing conservatives, but rather, Republicans. 

Again, this is perfectly fine -- and, in fact, is in keeping with the NRSC's mission.  But I would also suggest that conservatives have another mission.  And as such, conservatives should not donate another dime to the NRSC.  Why on earth would a conservative support an organization that is supporting liberal Arlen Specter over the reliably conservative Pat Toomey? 

Six years ago, the Republican establishment rallied around Specter, who narrowly defeated Toomey.  My guess is that at least one former Specter supporter -- former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum -- probably wishes he hadn't ...