Renee Ellmers’ 58-42 re-nomination win Tuesday left a lot of observers scratching their heads in frustration and out-and-confusion. How on Earth did this dingbat win AGAIN? Her primary challenger — former banker, radio host and currently college professor — Frank Roche offered a gracious concession speech Tuesday evening. But, in the wake of the primary election, he’s hammered out some pretty strong words for the state and national GOP establishment:
Only 15.6% of us who live in North Carolina’s 2nd District bothered to vote on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Republican and Independents, 21,358 of them, voted to give Rep. Renee Ellmers another two years in office. We missed sending a true conservative leader to the U.S. House by 6,370 votes.
In the 36 hours after not winning a hard run election there are many emotions that come and go: disappointment, sadness, guilt, bewilderment, frustration, and anger. I’m in the frustration and anger stage. Remember SNL from 1988, “How am I losing to this guy?” Note to self: U.S. Congress, proper qualifications not required.
What is the GOP establishment thinking?
The establishment, with some help from one of our newest lefty billionaires and the left leaning media, helped reelect the least qualified candidate in the 2nd District Republican primary. They failed the 2nd District and America.They overstepped their pledged boundaries of neutrality during the primary and again demonstrated themselves to be part of the problem. Local petty political gate-keepers assisted their poorly qualified incumbent in ways that require they be removed from their volunteer Chairmanship positions.
Party leaders meddling in primaries? *You DON’T say.* More:
There are many examples. There were the GOP Men’s Club leaders advocating against a man because, as they said, “I’m friends with John Boehner, and he likes Renee.” There were group leaders who denied me speaking time in front of hundreds of people because the incumbent was afraid to appear at the same meeting. There were GOP County and Auxiliary club leaders allowing the incumbent to speak but not allowing me to speak. GOP and Auxiliary club leaders manipulated the structure of Straw Polls. There were 2nd District leaders conducting unauthorized Straw Polls amongst the Executive Committee, and publicly and privately stating to multiple groups in the days before the primary, “Frank can’t win, vote Ellmers.”
Somehow, the establishment even got Mark Zuckerberg, the left leaning media, and conservative think tanks to do their work to deceive the 2nd District voters into reelecting the incumbent. Think Tanks, national Tea Party Groups, and conservative advocacy groups failed the conservative cause by not participating at all; using the “he can’t raise money” excuse as a basis for not helping to replace an incumbent they know is poorly qualified (a nasty catch 22). Zuckerberg, the liberal billionaire spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending a Republican on amnesty. The left leaning media outlets nationally and around the 2nd District refused to acknowledge me as a candidate in violation of the Equal-time rule. In the days leading up to primary day, and all during primary day, they declared Rep. Ellmers was running unopposed. Even the media outlets we paid to run ads on their air excluded my name from news items discussing the 2nd District and Rep. Ellmers.
The Republican establishment helped reelect an incumbent who has voted for more immigration, and who stands ready to vote for amnesty and still another doubling of legal immigration. They helped reelect an incumbent who has voted multiple times to raise the debt ceiling, increase spending, and ongoing deficit spending.They helped reelect an incumbent who voted for a unilateral free trade deal with Russia and now we prep for war with them. They helped reelect an incumbent who voted to extend the Patriot Act multiple times, who voted for reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and who has done absolutely nothing to reverse the trend of economic decay in America and help those in the 2nd District. They have helped reelect an incumbent who has added nothing to the national debate in the 3 years she has been office. They helped reelect an incumbent who ignores her constituents, did not participate on the campaign trail in any legitimate way, and took shelter behind left leaning groups and private corporate photo-ops to gain exposure and media attention. They helped reelect a woman who is more of the same; more of what America does not need.
*Sniff.* This is bringing frickin’ tears to my eyes, man. Frank, where was this prior to May 6?
Challenged by a competent, aggressive, highly qualified candidate the Ellmers camp took cover; went underground. Having so publicly come out in support of “comprehensive immigration reform” in September and October, after our entry into the race in December, she spent the next 5 months denying and misrepresenting her publicly stated support for amnesty and a doubling of legal immigration. Even after the disastrous interview on the Laura Ingraham Show in March, and the public humiliation of her constituents at her office in Asheboro weeks later, she still ran ads on radio and TV deceiving listeners and viewers about her true position. She was relying on them to have not done their homework; she was relying on the low information voter.
Rep. Ellmers attended only a handful of GOP meetings and events; always sure to arrive late, and leave early. She would not accept invitations by various media outlets to talk issues side-by-side with me. She would not accept any invitations by our campaign to debate the issues in public. She would not allow herself to be exposed for being so poorly informed on the issues that matter to the voters in the 2nd. The few times she did appear in the same room with me it became clear who the qualified candidate was and who the group supported.
The GOP establishment will be proven wrong again with respect to their effort to reelect Renee Ellmers. They are now even more complicit in the ruin of our great country. Shame on them. How will they explain this to their children and grand children? “Sorry about the state for our economy and your future tax burden, but you see, Ellmers could raise more money and Boehner liked her.”
Republicans and Democrats in the 2nd District elected the two least qualified candidates for the general election based on only two factors: the size of the ad buy and celebrity. One of them is going to represent us in Congress. Neither have the right background to competently solve the problems we confront. We can expect more of the same. More of the same is not good for America. I remain deeply concerned about the direction our country is heading in.
We cannot have amnesty and more legal immigration. We must stop the rise in federal debt and the printing press at the Fed. We have to end Fast-Track Authority and America’s unilateral free trade policy. We must repeal Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley and hundreds of other regulations. We must remove federal government involvement from public education once and for all. If we don’t begin to make these corrections soon it will be too late. The clock is ticking.
The Frank Roche for Congress campaign team did an awesome job given our late start and financial constraints. Yes, in this area the establishment also shut us out; the message went out don’t send money to Roche for Congress. We expect our post election analysis to reveal a number of shortcomings on the ground which I take full responsibility for. Even so, we did the hard work and had the right message. We never stopped trying to raise money, and ended up somewhere around the $50,000 mark by primary day. We received 42% of the vote while being outspent by factors of ten. We were right. The establishment was wrong. Yet, sadly, they win. The low information voter was tricked again.
We tried. I tried. God help us. I thank all those who supported my campaign.