Mark Warner Is Right To Fear Ed Gillespie

smugwarnerIt would appear as if Ed Gillespie has gotten Mark Warner’s attention in a big, big way.  Marc Theissen with the Washington Post explains how Warner isn’t just vulnerable — Warner is beatable if Gillespie is the conservative choice for the Republican nomination:

Despite his ample war chest and approval ratings, only 50 percent of Virginians say Warner should get a second term. And independents, by a margin of 49 to 43 percent, say they would rather have someone new in Virginia’s Senate seat.

Moreover, Warner will have to defend his deciding vote for Obamacare during a midterm election that will likely be driven by voter anger over Obamacare. Virginians upset about President Obama’s false promise that “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan” will be surprised to discover that Warner made the same false pledge, declaring “I’m not going to support a health-care reform plan that’s going to take away the health care you’ve got right now or a health-care plan that you like.” He did. And if The Post is right that a second wave of Obamacare-driven cancellations is coming in October, just a few weeks before Election Day, that broken promise will be front and center in voters’ minds when Virginians go to the polls.

Which would explain the latest and greatest DSCC hit piece — as early and nasty an attack as it is sophomoric — that desperately tries to dust Warner’s tracks and muddy the waters:

Rank and file Republicans don’t like the Affordable Care Act, but Ed Gillespie was a leading promoter of a health care mandate before anyone had even heard of ACA…

Blah, blah, blah freakin’ blah…

Aside from the DSCC’s new-found concern for conservative orthodoxy, we’ve been hearing this nonsense for a month now based on a lodged Washington Examiner article that was more acid than relevance, all based on a May 2010 poll.  The results?  Well… let’s go to the scorecard:

The May 2010 survey measured voter response to a three-part question on how Congress should respond to Obamacare, which the president jammed through the House and Senate on a partisan basis less than two months prior. At the time of the survey, 22% favored leaving the law in place, while 72% supported either amend and modify (37%) or repeal and replace (35%).

A two-point spread is not statistically significant, and no credible research organization would make a sweeping claim based upon that finding. Yet that’s exactly what theWashington Examiner article attributes to Resurgent Republic.

Ouch, folks.  Looks like the good people at RR didn’t take that one so kindly.  But wait!  What about that firm that Gillespie was supposed to be doing all that work for!  Surely they were inside some sort of socialist plot to nationaliz–

Specifically, the (Coalition to Advance Health Care Reform) believes the foundation of any reform must be based on the following: Market-Based Healthcare System; Universal Coverage with Individual Responsibility; Financial Assistance for Low-Income Individuals; Healthier Behavior and Incentives; Equal Tax Treatment.  CAHR’s approach to healthcare reform centers around taking immediate action at the state and national level to engage with all stakeholders to enact market-based reforms to solve the healthcare crisis.  (emphasis added)

That’s 2007 folks — and that is no individual mandate, ladies and gentlemen.

One more small problem?  CAHR was founded in May 2007.  Gillespie went to work for the White House in… June 2007.  Meaning there’s no way Gillespie could have lobbied for either market based health care reform or an individual mandate — period.

Theissen with the WaPo closes it out:

Some have suggested that, as a former Bush official, Gillespie may not be seen as sufficiently conservative to satisfy the tea party activists and social conservatives who dominate the Virginia Republican Party. They are mistaken.

I worked closely with Gillespie in the White House, and he was a forceful champion for conservative policies in the Bush administration. When some White House advisers tried to get President Bush to support cap and trade, Gillespie stopped it cold. He opposed the auto bailout. On his advice, Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Henry Hyde for his years of service to the pro-life cause, invited March for Life participants to the White House and spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference for the first time.

He’s a principled and courageous conservative who in his heart is still that blue-collar kid stocking grocery shelves, parking cars and dreaming the American Dream. If elected, Ed Gillespie will become the first person in history to go from the Senate parking lot to the Senate floor. That’s a compelling story — and one that should make Mark Warner very nervous indeed.

I had my chance to work closely with Ed Gillespie at RPV, and know personally how he has championed conservatives and conservative causes even though every moderate establishment Republican pressured him to do otherwise.  Folks forget that Gillespie was the conservative choice for RPV chairman.  Pro-lifers know Gillespie’s unimpeachable quality as well.  Dick Armey — the team that helped draft the Contract With America — knows Gillespie’s quality.  Moreover, in the only test that truly matters for a U.S. Senator, Gillespie gave us conservative Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito, which by rights ought to end any speculation as to which side Gillespie is on.

At at time when conservatives were catching flak and there was no Tea Party to support him, Gillespie still refused to be cowed by the progressive left.

…and if character is doing the right thing when no one is watching, ask folks who know about the outstanding work Gillespie has done at the Catholic University of America.  Ask anyone who has worked for Gillespie about calling during family time when he is not to be interrupted (I did that precisely once… never again).  Ask young conservatives who Gillespie has offered leadership to when they didn’t deserve it.

Mark Warner is afraid, without question.  The more seeds of doubt he can sow today, the less we will be talking about Warner’s do-nothing record as a “radical centrist” — and Warner’s terrible votes on Obamacare and judicial appointments.

Warner knows Gillespie will beat him in November.  There’s no other reason for the DSCC and others to be haranguing Gillespie so early if the opposite were true.   The question remains as to whether or not Virginia Republicans are willing to demonstrate to the nation that we’re willing to unite and take back our government.

I think we are.  Time to get to work.

  • Alan

    So glad someone is telling the truth about Senator Warner. You will not get this kind of information in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

  • Jeb Wilkinson

    While I do not know Ed well he is an operative who worked with Haley Barbour. He has polled the race and focus grouped it. He knows its a winnable race. Uphill fight yes but winnable with a well run effort.

  • Brad Froman

    If Gillespie chooses to run, it will be Ed Bush vs. Mark Obama. There’s no separating the two from their respective leaders. Let’s finally move into the 21st century, for goodness sake.

    • midwestconservative

      Last I checked both Presidents served ( or are serving) during the 21st Century.

      • Brad Froman

        I think both of those presidents have failed to understand how America and the world have changed since 2001. Education, jobs, foreign policy can’t continue as they did in the 20th century. Warner parrots Obama (who sees the world through smudgy, rose-colored glasses.) Gillespie is an inside Washington guy who would serve using the tools and bad habits from his mentor, Bush.

        • midwestconservative

          2001 is the 21st Century dude.
          And so far both are far better on the issues then anything the LP party has put out.

          • Bradley Froman

            Never said a word about the LP.

          • midwestconservative

            Yeah, but you are an LP dude.

          • Brad Froman

            I am an independent libertarian who wishes the GOP felt more libertarian. They don’t, so I prefer to be independent.

    • WorriedinVA

      So, Howie Lind or Shak Hill? Really?

      • Brad Froman

        Neither. Keep looking.

  • m r

    Two years ago Shaun, you shilled for George Allen, covering up his big government record as a Senator under a thick varnish of ‘trust me he’s different now.’ Pathetic defeat to a weak-butt Democrat followed.

    Now you shill Gillespie, the quintessential Bush/Rove DC operative, with Obamacare support problems, DC lobbyist problems and anti-Tea Party/conservative problems (as a co-operative at American Crossroads, etc) and expect the passionate, ideological soul of the grass-roots to fall in line because “he’s got access to DC money” and “he’s not as bad as you think, just mis-understood”? Even more silly, you think this dude is a better candidate than ANYONE else in a year that is again shaping up as an anti-establishment year like 2010?


    No, he will not be the nominee, and we will do better as party because of it. And we won’t have to pick him out of our teeth for the next few years as he tries to be the Republican MacAuliffe running for Governor.

    You’re entitled to your opinions, of course; no matter who pays you for them.


    Mike Rothfeld

    • …you keep saying that as if someone sticks up for a guy they must be taking cash on the side is enough to dismiss an argument — I haven’t been paid a dime for this or anything else.

      The passionate, ideological soul of the GOP isn’t falling in line — they’re encouraging Gillespie to run, and in a big way. Those who thought they were the soul of the GOP are now somewhat dismayed to find out they’re on the outside.

      But alas, it’s incredibly lucrative to whip up people’s gnosticism about who a “real conservative” is, peg a candidate to the right of everyone (regardless as to whether or not they really are conservative or not), spin up hopes and grab their cash, and disappoint when we lose again and again and again… is it not?

      “Elect the most conservative candidate who can win.” Buckley, I think? At least, that’s what conservatives used to believe… or perhaps still do.


      • m r

        He is NOT conservative, he’s an operator.

        He CANNOT win, with his elephantine DC-insider/lobbyist baggage.

        So he fails on both points, even on your test.


        • …and the one-time Howell booster now washed in the TP blood can?

          Best of luck with that…

          • midwestconservative

            Who’s that?

  • Samuel E Morrison

    I listened to an audio clip on a blog where Gillespie claimed that both Tim Kaine and Mark Warner cast the deciding votes for Obamacare. Either that was a slip of the tongue, which is an amateur mistake most are claiming he will be able to avoid, or he was outright lying to the crowd because he thought them too stupid to realize Kaine took office in 2013. He seems a bit too clever by half for my liking, but it would be quite nice to have a candidate who is actually smart and knowledgeable enough to legitimately understand the issues at hand.

    • MD Russ

      Oops. That was a bigger boo-boo than Al Gore claiming that he was a co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill when he and Russ Feingold never served together in the Senate.

      • midwestconservative

        One could argue that Tim Kaine cast “the deciding vote” to fund Obamacare.

  • Turbocohen

    If your ego’s can take it, click here, Like the page, or die.

  • WorriedinVA

    I’m tired of people who think Warner is a moderate! Look at his voting record, people! He’s on TV a lot more lately, because he’s afraid of competition in November. Ed can bring it. I noticed Warner in too many pictures with Harry Reid over the last year. He probably wants some “important” committee assignment or something. What a tool.

  • Eric McGrane

    I understand the thought process here….that Ed “is the only one that can win”. I totally get it.

    I just have no confidence at all that there’s enough people to drink that message and believe it anymore.

    As stated here, I don’t see passion-causing attributes within Ed that will drive door-knockers into the streets.

    VA is not in a good place.

    I’d like someone to convince me/explain how/why Ed is a better candidate than George Allen, when Allen had cash and MASSIVE name recognition, to include leveraging the nostalgic days of Governor (while downplaying his Senate time). Go! ___________________________________________

  • Cleveland Steamer

    I don’t think Warner is concerned at all. He was a popular governor and is a sitting senator with statewide name recognition. He will crush Gillespie, and most any other challenger.

  • amish40

    I just hope, whoever the nominee is, people don’t buy the whole Warner ‘moderate’ nonsense. He has been completely anonymous for six years in the Senate.
    When I think of true Moderates Democrats in the Senate, I think of Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin has been involved in bipartisan negotiations and compromise, and he has been willing to buck his party’s leadership (as he has on several occasions). Warner does very little, and then comes out every few months and throws the “we need to compromise” speech at us. I have yet to see him involved in major efforts, along with Senators like Manchin and Collins. Warner has consistently been an up vote for all of Obama’s nominees, voted to change the filibuster, and voted for Obamacare. I fail to see how he is a moderate. If anything, he’s a straight party line vote.
    Warner could not have gotten the margin he did in 2008 without votes from Republicans. I hope we all know better this time. Let’s unite behind our nominee and make this a race. While people claim that Warner is untouchable, he is only untouchable if we make him so.
    For us to truly stop this President, we need to take back the Senate in 2014. While we have better shots at the seats in West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana, Louisiana, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Iowa, Michigan, and Colorado , let’s do our part to make this race competitive. Gillespie has connections, which he can use to get massive amounts of funds. This will force Democrats to work for this seat, which takes away resources they could use in the other races. No more infighting against fellow Republicans. Let’s unite behind a nominee. Remember: a vote for Mark Warner is a vote for Harry Reid.

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  • WorriedinVA

    There are lots of pictures out there with Warner smiling behind Reid and Warner buddying up with Obama. Get them and save them QUICK!!!! They speak volumes…..Warner sounds like a moderate when he talks and I don’t get his following. Time to reveal his record. Let’s do it for the country. We’re all sick of Reid holding up the 80+ bills passed by the house. No discussion – just protecting O from having to sign bills or veto them.

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