John Cornyn: Guess The Base Was Right About Charlie Crist After All

Time and time again, the conservative base has asked the Republican establishment to stay out of competitive primaries. They don’t listen to us. Know why? Because they’re Beltway dumb. No matter how many Arlen Specters, Harriet Miers picks for the SCOTUS, or illegal immigration disasters they maneuver themselves into over the protests of the base, they just can’t help but think that they’re smarter than you. After all, if you hicks in flyover country knew what you were doing, you’d be in DC with them, yakking it up at cocktail parties along with the who’s who of Washington.

So despite the fact that Marco Rubio is a blue chip candidate in Florida, John Cornyn and the NRSC decided to stick their nose in the race to support Charlie Crist, a man who’s so politically ambiguous that no one knows if he’ll still be in the Republican Party come November.

Naturally, conservative bloggers — like myself — raised holy hell about the NRSC getting involved in the race. The brutal online beating we delivered was so successful that the NRSC has had to support mediocre RINOS : like Carly Fiorina behind the scenes instead of giving public endorsements. Why? Because they’re afraid RWN or Erick Erickson at Redstate will yell at them again online. Granted, that’s probably not as traumatic as having a naked Rahm Emanuel walk up to you in the shower and poke you in the chest, but it’s not a lot of fun either.

In any case, Rubio has caught fire and blown Charlie Crist’s doors off. Despite Crist’s war chest, this race is over, barring a major scandal that knocks Rubio out of contention. So now, it’s mainly a matter of trying to figure out how Crist will handle his impending defeat. Will he switch parties? Will he run as an Independent? Will he spend millions trashing Rubio in what would turn out to be a futile scorched earth campaign? Whatever the case may be, none of those options would make the NRSC look very good after they endorsed Arlen Specter, Jr. over a charismatic candidate who’s loved by the conservative base. So, John Cornyn is now doing a little damage control:

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Don’t expect the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to rescind its endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist for Florida’s Senate seat.

“I’m honor-bound to leave it as it is,” NRSC chairman Sen. John Cornyn said of the endorsement Monday morning during a meeting with reporters at the committee’s headquarters.

Last spring, the NRSC threw its support behind Crist, who according to polls is in a losing battle against the momentum of Marco Rubio’s insurgent campaign in the Republican primary.

Cornyn defended the endorsement as “selfish.” After meeting with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who opted out of running for the seat, he said Crist was seen as “the ideal candidate” because he’s a good fundraiser.

“I didn’t want to have to spend any money in Florida if we didn’t have to,” he said.

Still, Cornyn said the endorsement “had nothing to do with Marco Rubio,” and that if Rubio wins the primary, he has every reason to believe he will beat Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek in the general election.

So in effect, John Cornyn withdrew his endorsement of Charlie Crist without actually withdrawing his endorsement. Funny, that’s pretty much what I asked him to do back on May 20, 2009 after Cornyn was too frightened to actually answer questions about the Rubio endorsement in a teleconference:

I’ve previously called for John Cornyn to resign as head of the NRSC for this blunder and to be honest, I still don’t think that would be inappropriate. However, here’s a better idea: John Cornyn should show that he listens to conservatives and cares what we think by withdrawing his endorsement of Crist. Everybody makes mistakes and by now, if he were honest, even Cornyn would tell you that he blew it with this call. So, reverse the call. It’s not too late. Heck, conservatives might even be so grateful to have someone listening in the Republican leadership that donations to the NRSC could spike. So, this could still turn into a win/win situation instead of a lose/lose brawl that is likely to get nastier as time goes on.

What do you know? : Cornyn’s admitting “that he blew it with this call” and it only took him a year to accept what I told him.

That’s what’s so frustrating about guys like Cornyn: when they make these epic mistakes, they’re too arrogant to admit they’ve blown it until everybody already knows that they’ve lost and sustained major damage in the process. Maybe if they paid more attention to the people who helped send them to DC in the first place and had enough humility to actually pay attention to what they were being told, they wouldn’t create these disasters in the first place.

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