GOP fallout from bailout vote

In Virginia, retiring Sen. Warner refuses to say he'll back Republican candidate Gilmore.

By Salon Staff
Published October 5, 2008 3:39PM (EDT)

It's tough if you're running for office and the retiring incumbent from your own party still refuses to endorse you just weeks before the election. Blame the political fallout of last week's $700 billion federal bailout of the credit markets.

Sen. John Warner, a Republican from Virginia who is retiring from the Senate this year, may not endorse his would-be G.O.P. successor, James Gilmore, according to the Washington Post. In fact, Warner may back Democrat Mark Warner, a former governor – they're unrelated – who he actually ran against for Senate in 1996. That rivalry is apparently all water under the bridge now, because the two Warners are reportedly friends.

In a conference call with reporters on Saturday, Sen. Warner didn't go so far as to say that he would endorse the other Warner -- yet. However, he did say that he is very disappointed that Gilmore is being so vociferous in his criticism of the federal bailout.

In a televised debate on Friday night, Gilmore, the underdog in the race, said that the bailout was an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars, which will primarily benefit the wealthy. His rival for the Senate seat has voiced supported the bailout. Sen. Warner, who voted for the bailout on Wednesday, said that it was a vote "for Virginia's economy."

Recent polls put Warner ahead of Gilmore in the race by a huge margin.

Salon Staff

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