Skip to comments.Rell refuses to back Republican Senate candidate
Posted on 08/19/2006 8:31:05 AM PDT by Graybeard58
HARTFORD -- Gov. M. Jodi Rell refused Friday to personally endorse Republican Alan Schlesinger for U.S. Senate.
Rell also wouldn't commit to campaigning with Schlesinger in his three-way contest against U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.
"Don't read anything into it," Schlesinger said.
Last month, Rell and other leading Republicans in Connecticut urged Schlesinger to reconsider his candidacy after news reports that he gambled under an assumed name at a Connecticut casino and paid $28,000 in the early 1990s to settle gambling debts with two Atlantic City casinos.
President Bush also is declining to endorse Schlesinger at this time.
Earlier this week, Bush spokesman Tony Snow was noncommittal when asked if the White House was backing Schlesinger. The president routinely endorses Republicans running for Congress across the country.
The Lamont campaign said in a statement Friday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has endorsed Lieberman, who is running as a petition candidate after losing the Democratic nomination to Lamont last week.
"No, it is not true," said Dan Ronayne, a spokesman for the campaign committee.
However, the Connecticut election is not a priority race for national Republicans.
"It doesn't appear to be a competitive race so we'll focus our attention on other races," Ronayne said.
A new Quinnipiac University poll this week had Schlesinger getting 4 percent of the vote in the three-way race.
Ronayne said an "Internet urban legend" appears to have given rise to the Lamont campaign's claim.
Last week, he said he stated to news organizations making inquiries that the National Republican Senatorial Committee wasn't going to concentrate on the Connecticut contest because Schlesinger wasn't a competitive candidate.
"It sounds like the lack of enthusiasm about our guy's chances got misinterpreted," he said.
The Lamont campaign made its claim in a statement that linked Lieberman to Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "It's no surprise that the National Republican Senate Committee has endorsed Lieberman."
Schlesinger expressed frustration Friday with the news media's focus on the lack of Republican support and his gambling.
Her said he can win if given a fair opportunity to debate the issues and get his message out.
The subject of Schlesinger came up during a news conference Friday with Rell.
When first asked if she planned to endorse Schlesinger, the governor said, "Alan Schlesinger is the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party."
Rell was pressed several times on whether she would personally endorse Schlesinger, but wouldn't commit herself.
"I didn't ask her for her endorsement ... She didn't ask me for my endorsement of her," Schlesinger said.
Rell also said in response to a question that she had no plans at this time to campaign with Schlesinger.
"I have not scheduled any campaign stops with Alan," Rell said, and added that she hasn't been campaigning much with anybody else, either.
Rell didn't rule out the possibility of campaigning with Schlesinger, however.
Schlesinger said he expects to campaign with Rell, or at the least appear occasionally at the same event. "I consider myself a friend of Jodi Rell," he said.
Rell didn't seem to rate the Senate election as a priority for Republicans in Connecticut. She said keeping the governor's office and the party's three U.S. House seats were more critical to the party's interests.
This all begs the question of how this guy got the GOP nomination in the first place.
True and then if Joe wins and is not allowed Caucus rights in the DEM set-up, where will he feel used in party politics. He will not become a RINO Pub, we could use his vote, but might he not actually vote more for Pub stuff? I personally do not think so. He was a liberal in all but the national security question. Still, being dissed by his life-long party might push Joe to consider some Pub agendas when voting.
Alan Schlesinger should get the message and drop out. He's a non-factor.
Should he come to his sences soon enough, the GOP can field a viable candidate.
I don't think it'll matter.
Truth be told, Lieberman is the best we can hope for this cycle. I agree that if all Republicans stuck to their guns and we had a viable candidate, it could happen, but in this climate, it's just not going to.
On paper, he's not a bad candidate. Former Mayor of a smaller town, former State Legislator, it's just the scandles that weren't known at the time that makes him bad.
That, and the fact that so many Republicans like Lieberman, which is kinda justified, but not to the degree it's justified.
Lieberman is like McCain, Like McCain is seen as far more liberal then he actually is, Lieberman is seen as far more conservative then he actually is.
That said, he's probably the best choice for Republicans this cycle, just because of the WOT.