A reader forwarded to us an email conversation they had with NCGOP chairman Claude Pope. (Of course, we came up.) The reader asked THE Pope about reports on our site that the NRSC had entered into a joint fundraising arrangement with Thom Tillis — one of a crowd of GOP candidates seeking the honor of sending Kay Hagan packing. The reader asked if the NCGOP had cautioned its operatives against taking sides in the upcoming Senate primary. (I can see the cause for concern — given the stories about Thom Tillis and Wayne King.)
Here’s what THE Pope had to say:
The NRSC is a separate organization from the RNC. Their membership is made up of Republican U.S. Senators, and they raise their own money and take no direction from the RNC. Go to www.nrsc.org and click “about”. To answer your question, the last time I spoke with a representative of the NRSC was back in August when they came to Raleigh. We helped facilitate meetings with Brannon, Harris, Tillis, and Berger (who, at the time, was still considering entering the race). They may have met with some others as well, but we were not involved in those meetings. The NRSC has not reached out to me since then.The NCGOP is steadfastly neutral in the US Senate Primary, and any speculation or attempts to tie our leadership to any endorsement of a specific candidate is simply nonsense – and merely an attempt by those supporters of certain candidates to continue to try and split our party for their own gain. I’ve said from day one that the NCGOP will work tirelessly to defeat Kay Hagan in November and will embrace whomever emerges from our primary in May. You’re smart enough to recognize blog posts like these for what they are – agenda driven and biased reporting designed to alienate and divide, rather than to unite and win.Cheers,Claude
Thank you for the clarification, I am glad for the reassurance that the NCGOP leadership remains neutral during the primary period. Was it made clear to the NCGOP at the time when the meetings were facilitated that the intention of the NRSC in meeting with candidates was to direct funds / support to one particular candidate during the primary period?
[T]he subject never came up.By the way, I would feel much better about our chances next November if I heard – and felt the same level of commitment from supporters of Brannon, Harris, Tillis, Flynn and Grant to support our primary winner.You can be assured that between now and May, I will ask every audience, every candidate’s supporter and every candidate for their public declaration of such support, and I expect it. Not only do I expect it, I expect a passionate and enthusiastic declaration. Anything short of an enthusiastic endorsement of our winner – prior to the primary’s results being known – will be a sure sign of defeat in November, and I might as well head on back to the beach now – the effort is not worth my time. Are you prepared to make the same commitment as me?