Politics - U.S.Wed Nov 6, 2013 - 9:22 pm EST
Self-sabotage: The Republican Party establishment sunk Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign, conservatives say
RICHMOND, VA, November 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ken Cuccinelli's surprisingly close loss in the Virginia governor's race yesterday has brought a resounding reaction: He could have won if elite members of the Republican Party had not abandoned him out of spite.
“I never thought I would live to see this kind of self-sabotage,” talk radio titan Rush Limbaugh said today.
“They didn't want him to win. This is the dirty little secret,” he said.
Rush said the Republican Establishment is perfectly happy to lose elections, as long as it does not lose control of the GOP to the party's social and fiscal conservatives.
“Such is the animus toward the Tea Party in the Republican Party establishment that they are perfectly comfortable with a [Chris] Christie win [in New Jersey] and a Cuccinelli loss, because to them that's a Tea Party loss,” he added. “Now the Republican establishment can run around and claim the Tea Party is an albatross around their neck.”
The indifference and nonfeasance that led to losing a winnable race stemmed from the ruling class' lust for power and disdain for the pro-life position, he stated.
“Conservatism in general repulses the Republican establishment. The Tea Party repulses them, because they don't control it,” Limbaugh told his audience of millions.
Leaders inside the GOP “think the Tea Party is a bunch of radical extremist conservative kook freak pro-lifers,” he said.
As influential as he is, he was far from alone in his assessment.
Richard Viguerie, a decades-long activist inside the Republican Party, wrote at ConservativeHQ.com, “The national leadership of the Republican Party engaged in a summer-long whispering campaign against Ken Cuccinelli that more or less mirrored the Democrat’s charge that Cuccinelli is an 'extremist' and the organizations controlled by national Republicans gave only nominal support to Cuccinelli.”
“Ken Cuccinelli did not lose last night because he is a principled limited government constitutional conservative. Cuccinelli lost because he was drowned in a sea of money and undercut by a Republican establishment that would rather see a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion than end the good ole boy politics...and allow a real conservative anywhere near the levers of power,” Viguerie said.
Critics pointed to many of the same pieces of evidence that, had it wanted to, the Republican Party could have done much more to secure the race.
While the Republican National Committee donated $9 million to Governor Bob McDonnell's 2009 race – which was seen as a walkaway election – it gave only one-third that much to Cuccinelli. This year the RNC gave more than $1 million to Chris Christie, whose re-election was never seriously contested.
The Chamber of Commerce and other Republican megadonors did not give Cuccinelli a dime.
Although Chuck Todd of MSNBC reported that the Cuccinelli campaign “begged” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to campaign for him, Christie refused.
Virginia's attorney general – the first in the nation to file a lawsuit against ObamaCare – found precious little support aside from $8 million from the Republican Governors Association and the backing of pro-life and Second Amendment organizations such as the Susan B. Anthony List and the NRA.
The Virginia GOP was hopelessly divided, as Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and many of his supporters refused to endorse Cuccinelli after Bolling lost the party's nomination. Virginia Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's former chief of staff, Boyd Marcus, actively assisted Terry McAuliffe's campaign.
Finally, the Democrat-funded Libertarian Party candidate Rob Sarvis siphoned off approximately six percent of the vote, allowing McAuliffe – like his former boss, Bill Clinton – to win the election with a minority of the vote.
The Cuccinelli campaign publicly questioned the GOP's dedication, and judgment, on election night.
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“We were on our own,” Cuccinelli strategist Chris La Civita told The Washington Post. “There are a lot of questions people are going to be asking and that is, 'Was leaving Cuccinelli alone in the first week of October a smart move?'”
By some estimates, the Cuccinelli campaign ran no media for the last two weeks of the campaign in key markets, including the D.C. suburbs, due to lack of funds. Ultimately, those exurban areas delivered the one-to-two percent margin of victory to the Democrats Tuesday night.
McAuliffe boasted the support of numerous out-of-state billionaires and a national network of Clinton-friendly donors, who allowed McAuliffe to outspend Cuccinelli by 75 percent overall.
The RNC defended itself against massive backlash Wednesday morning, saying that former Chairman Michael Steele had overspent on the McDonnell race, and current leadership was simply correcting his mistake. But not everyone was buying it.
Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, said, “After being stabbed in the back by the RINO Republicans, it is amazing how close Ken Cuccinelli has kept this race.”
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who spent $1 million in 2009 and nothing in 2013,” Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, wrote in an election post mortem. “Just think what would have happened if the business and donor classes of the Republican Party would have helped.”
Daisy, a part of the female conservative team Chicks on the Right, wrote that she hoped the GOP Establishment changed its ways, because “I, for one, am sick and tired of watching us needlessly lose elections.”
NRO editor Jonah Goldberg added, “For all the talk about how the base needs to cooperate with the establishment more, it’s worth remembering that the base almost always does its part on Election Day. Its the establishment that is less reliable in returning the favor.”
For Viguerie, the performance of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and other GOP donors “is proof that conservatives are wasting their money giving to the RNC, and it is convincing evidence that the RNC leadership must be replaced if America is ever to be governed according to conservative principles.”
LifeSiteNews.com contacted Gary Bauer for comment but did not hear back by press time.