Senate Brief: Wisconsin Republicans’ Race to the Bottom Reaches New Lows

Week of Monday, May 14

IN BRIEF: What the hell is going on in Wisconsin? Leah Vukmir officially received her party’s endorsement for U.S. Senate this weekend at the Wisconsin Republican Convention, but this primary is far from over — and both candidates are increasingly embroiled in controversies of their own making.

Losing the party’s endorsement must have been the cherry on top of a horrible week for Kevin Nicholson.

It was a landslide: Vukmir took the convention by 72%.
Grassroots Wisconsin Republicans rallied behind Vukmir, while “Nicholson remains powered by millions of dollars in spending from groups and individuals outside Wisconsin.”

Nicholson continues to face backlash on all sides after nearly two weeks of attacks against veterans, during which he’s refused to back down on questioning the “cognitive thought process” of veterans who vote for Democrats.

Here’s a handy highlight reel of Nicholson’s anti-veterans media […]

Read more after the jump.

SENATE BRIEF: Republicans’ Weak Candidates (Yet Again) Underperform – GOP’s Blankenship Problem – Abysmal GOP Fundraising – Rick Scott Under Fire

Week of Monday, April 16

IN BRIEF: Their historically weak field of Senate candidates is costing Republicans cold hard cash — and that’s just the start of their problems. From oppo dumps to missed fundraising expectations to misleading (and often bizarre) rhetoric, Republican candidates across the country are proving that they’re just not ready for the bright spotlight of a U.S. Senate campaign. As fundraising numbers trickle in and primary dates approach, the news from the campaign trail is looking grim for Republicans:

WEST VIRGINIA: Republicans are so terrified convicted criminal Don Blankenship will steal the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, they have launched a secret group to try to stop Blankenship’s candidacy. Count on this group — which is closely tied to the Senate Leadership Fund — to pour millions into West Virginia ahead of the May 8 primary, wasting precious resources.
MONTANA: Two of the leading candidates in the contentious GOP primary,  Read more after the jump.

Toxic Kevin Cramer Finally Says Yes to Mitch McConnell

Kevin Cramer’s habit of making toxic remarks led Republicans to abandon him last year, but desperate Republicans who have been turned down over and over again in North Dakota are now accepting that he is their only choice to run for U.S. Senate. Cramer will announce his Senate bid tomorrow, the AP reports.

Less than a year ago Republicans were running from Cramer and his tendency for toxic, “Todd Akin-like” remarks. Cramer has made derogatory comments about his female colleagues’ appearance, said that female members of Congress have a “disease,” and bizarrely volunteered to release his internet browsing history to a random caller on a radio show. He even defended Sean Spicer’s whitewashing of the Holocaust.

“Mitch McConnell and Washington Republicans have been turned down over and over again by high-quality recruits in North Dakota, so out of desperation they […]

Read more after the jump.

Not-So-Way Back Wednesday:  Last Year, GOP Fled Kevin Cramer’s Toxic Statements

The GOP may be courting Rep. Kevin Cramer to run for Senate now that they’ve been turned down by five other potential recruits, but less than a year ago Republicans were running from Cramer and his tendency for toxic, “Todd Akin-like” remarks.

“From derogatory comments about his female colleagues’ appearance to defending Sean Spicer’s whitewashing of the Holocaust, Cramer knows how to offend just about everyone,”said American Bridge spokesperson Allison Teixeira Sulier. “Kevin Cramer’s habit of making toxic remarks led Republicans to abandon him last year, but desperate Republicans who have been turned down over and over again in North Dakota are now begging their backup-boyfriend to take them back.”

Here are just some examples of headlines from last year that made the GOP worry about Cramer’s Akin-esque flaws as a candidate: 

West Central Tribune: N.D. congressman: Women wearing ‘bad-looking white pantsuits’ during Trump speech have a ‘disease’

Politico: GOP […]

Read more after the jump.

Chaos Ensues in North Dakota as Republicans Try to Find Anyone But Campbell to Run for Senate

Republicans are hitting the panic button in North Dakota.

After five separate candidates the GOP tried to recruit decided not to run, including Rep. Kevin Cramer, who passed on a Senate bid last month, Republicans were left with only State Rep. Tom Campbell.

Republicans hate Campbell so much, that they turned to former state party chair Gary Emineth to get in the race. But Emineth’s campaign rapidly imploded under the weight of racist social media posts, and — less than two weeks after he declared — he announced today he was dropping out.

Now Republicans are so desperate that they’re back to recruiting Cramer, who they once urged to stay out of the race due to his penchant for sexist and anti-Semitic gaffes. They’re so desperate to recruit Cramer, Republican operatives are publicly sabotaging Tom Campbell.

“Across the country Republicans are struggling to fundraise and […]

Read more after the jump.

QUICK CLIP: Sen. Hoeven declines to say Rep. Cramer can beat Sen. Heitkamp

“Even Senator Hoeven knows how much baggage Kevin Cramer has and how much of an uphill climb it would be for him to win North Dakota’s Senate race,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp. “Top Republicans have spent a year searching for a candidate who isn’t Cramer because even they know he’s a terrible candidate. His offensive rhetoric and extreme agenda has the potential to become a national liability for the GOP like Roy Moore and Todd Akin, and these guys want no part of him.”

Watch the clip here.

Read more after the jump.

Hypocrisy Alert:  GOP Senate Hopefuls Cared *A Lot* About Classified Information Last Year

Back in 2016 and earlier, ambitious Republican politicians scored political points by feigning outrage over the handling of classified information. Now these Republicans are running for U.S. Senate — or are weighing campaigns — and what action are they taking about Donald Trump’s dangerous recklessness with classified intelligence?

Nothing.

(Or, if you’re Jeff Flake and Dean Heller, worse than nothing: excuses for doing nothing that give Trump a free pass).

Let’s turn back the clock and take a look at what Republican Senate hopefuls said about the mishandling of classified information…

Pennsylvania: Rep. Lou Barletta: “A crime”
Florida: Gov. Rick Scott: Spent $1 million on ads about classified emails
Indiana: Luke Messer: “Dishonesty and poor judgment”
Missouri: Rep. Ann Wagner: “Cannot be trusted
North Dakota: Rep. Kevin Cramer: “Appoint a special prosecutor to formally investigate”
Pennsylvania: […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate GOP Recruitment Stalls in Trump’s First 100 Days

“Potential GOP candidates…are afraid of walking into a buzz saw.” – Politico

Four months into the 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate, Senate Republicans have almost no recruitment successes and plenty of failures. Politico reports that potential candidates “are afraid of walking into a buzz saw” as Donald Trump’s popularity sinks to historic lows.

“The Senate GOP is failing to recruit quality candidates — or almost any candidates — and Republicans only have themselves to blame,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp. “From stripping 26 million Americans of health care to gutting environmental protections, the GOP agenda would hurt working families, especially those who Trump and Republicans claim they want to help. Small wonder Republican’s best candidates are taking a dive, rather than face the voters in 2018.”

Take a look at the headlines Senate Republicans are earning as they fail to find candidates willing hitch their wagon to Washington Republicans in 2018…

Politico:  Read more after the jump.

What North Dakotans Are Reading About Rep. Kevin Cramer

It’s been a rough 24 hours for Rep. Kevin Cramer, who’s the leading Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in North Dakota — and apparently Sean Spicer’s only defender in Washington.

Here’s a sample of what North Dakotans are reading today about their Congressman’s latest misstep…

Grand Forks Herald: Port: Kevin Cramer says Spicer Holocaust comment was ‘dumb,’ but ‘technically right’

WDAY: Cramer calls coverage of Sean Spicer’s Hitler comments overblown

Grand Forks Herald: UPDATE: Cramer calls coverage of Sean Spicer’s Hitler comments overblown

Jamestown Sun: Cramer calls coverage of Sean Spicer’s Hitler comments overblown

West Fargo Pioneer: Cramer calls coverage of Sean Spicer’s Hitler comments overblown

CNN: North Dakota congressman: Spicer Hitler comment ‘not without some validity’

WDAZ: Cramer calls coverage of Sean Spicer’s Hitler comments overblown

The Forum (Fargo): Cramer calls coverage of Sean Spicer’s Hitler comments overblown

NY Daily News:  Read more after the jump.

MEMO: Berg Went To Washington

It’s a long way from North Dakota to Washington, DC. But not quite so far that after nearly 30 years in the North Dakota House of Representatives, it took less than eighteen months for Rep. Rick Berg to fit right in as a DC insider.

Unfortunately for Berg, it’s also not so far that his actions in DC don’t make it back to North Dakota voters. Berg has developed a habit of telling North Dakotans one thing, but doing the opposite in DC when he thinks no one’s watching. This means siding with his party to cast votes that hurt the people back home he’s supposed to be representing.

From rural hospitals to essential air service, Berg’s votes to cut funding would jeopardize the well-being of North Dakota residents. He supported the Paul Ryan budget to please the Republican leadership, but abandoned North Dakota farmers who would suffer from the cuts to crop insurance and farm programs. The Ryan budget would also end Medicare as we know it. And twice Berg joined his party to cast votes to block the House from even considering the Senate’s bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act.

Rep. Berg is asking for a promotion to the Senate. But when voters see his record of putting his Republican pals before North Dakotans, what he’ll get instead is sent packing for the long trip back home.

See the research after the jump.

Read more after the jump.