It 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.