A conservative revolt against the NRSC

A leading right-wing blogger calls for a boycott of the GOP's Senate campaign committee in the wake of its endorsement of moderate Charlie Crist.

By Vincent Rossmeier
Published May 13, 2009 7:25PM (EDT)

Despite President Obama's election in November and the fact that the demographics of the U.S. indicate the country will likely skew more towards the Democrats in the coming decades, many Republicans still seem convinced that the only way for them to win in the future is by doubling down on conservatism. A new boycott of the National Republican Senatorial Committee led by a leading conservative blogger is the latest example of this thinking.

Erick Erickson of RedState.com is calling on conservatives to avoid assisting the NRSC in any capacity in 2010. The boycott is a response to the decision that committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, made Tuesday to support Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's bid for the Senate. Cornyn's endorsement came despite the presence in the race of another Republican, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio. Erickson called the NRSC's support of Crist "wholly unacceptable," citing another post on RedState by blogger Dan McLaughlin that provides four reasons conservatives should object to Crist's candidacy: Crist's abandonment of the governorship, his running against a rising GOP star in Rubio, his forcing an ideological battle between moderate and conservative Florida Republicans and his support of the stimulus.

The NRSC wasted no time in responding to Erickson's proposed boycott. Greg Sargent quotes spokesman Brian Walsh as saying, "The Republican Party is a big tent party that welcomes different points of view. Obviously there is a small group of folks who would prefer to see 30 ‘pure’ Republican Senators with a litmus test for candidates. They’re certainly welcome to that viewpoint. We’re focused on rebuilding the party, winning elections and ultimately regaining the Majority.”

That's not the way Rubio sees it. In discussing Crist's candidacy, he went after some incumbent Republican senators he deems too moderate, saying, "If you agree with Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe on some of these issues, you might as well become a Democrat." (hat-tip to Markos Moulitsas)

Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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Arlen Specter D-pa. Barack Obama Charlie Crist Florida Senate Race Republican Party