October 18th, 2008
04:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Rival consultant now working alongside McCain campaign

Warren Tompkins, standing, is a veteran GOP strategist.

Warren Tompkins, standing, is a veteran GOP strategist.

NEW YORK (CNN) - Warren Tompkins, the hard-hitting South Carolina Republican consultant who worked against John McCain during the state’s vicious primary battle in 2000, is now toiling in North Carolina alongside McCain’s campaign on behalf of the Republican National Committee, according to sources.

Tompkins has been working in the state for two weeks, participating in conference calls and traveling up from South Carolina for meetings, said one southern GOP operative.

A McCain campaign official said that Tompkins is volunteering for the campaign, doing so through the RNC, but that he has only been in the state for “a few days.”

The presidential race in North Carolina has tightened in recent weeks, and CNN has moved the reliably red state into the “toss-up” category. The state’s down-ballot Republican candidates - Senator Elizabeth Dole and gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory - are also in tough races.

“He is working for the RNC, so therefore coordinating with all the campaigns,” the operative said of Tompkins. “It’s the final few weeks of a campaign and you need people with experience, and frankly there are not many people in the southeast with near the experience that he has.”

Tompkins, known for hardball tactics, has long been accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against McCain in 2000, but he has never been formally linked to any of the attacks carried out against the Arizona senator. The Columbia-based strategist was a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s primary campaign in South Carolina last year.

The McCain official said Tompkins was just one of many Republicans coming on board to help the McCain campaign in its final weeks.

“We’re deploying hundreds of political operatives to the battleground states,” the official said.

Filed under: John McCain • North Carolina
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Marie,San Diego

    Addendum to my entry earlier:

    I don't mind to pay extra tax knowing it will help reshaping the tattered economy.

    October 18, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. lisa tx

    I use to respect John MCcain. not any more ,calling people socialist just because they deserve a tax break. my husband is a owner operater truckdriver we made 170.000 last year .100,ooo went for diesel , the rest for maint. for the first time we took a loss. this year will be even worse .even if you make a little money you end up with nothing and no one to bail you out .enough!! Obama/biden 08

    October 18, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. Leo Hussein Smith - TX


    October 18, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. Sen

    First, he gives an appointment to David Lettermen who he considers as a good friend. Finds out that his running mate has screwed up an interview. Calls in an hour before the recording and say "I am already sitting on the flight, I have an economy to save". Turns out, he is giving an interview with someone else on the same channel to cleanup the mess dropped by his running mate.
    I got to give it to Letterman. He is a gentleman to even invite someone again and give him a second chance. What happens, this honourable man goes on the air and says "I screwed up".
    Give me a break. First you lie. Then run around and do something behind the back. Then when it is found, you just say "Sorry, I screwed up".
    How do I know if you wont do the same thing to the country ?
    The funniest part is this. There are people who say oooooh, Letterman is mean to him ! Ouch. Truth hurts.
    Did Letterman ask anything that is not true? Or did he commit to an interview and lie to him ?

    October 18, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. ilse NC

    Could we not outsource this whole election until it is over. America has outsourced most other things so why not. It would be for once such a relief and the networks could go back giving us real news.

    October 18, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Herb

    Mcshame will stop at nothing.

    Obama '08

    October 19, 2008 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  7. ulric

    What has mccain done for the past 26 year in congress for us not to be in this present financial crunch? does he need four more years to do what he did the last 26? pls mr mccain save us further pain and retire with your wife and her 100 million dollars inheritance.

    October 19, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. manuel

    it is mcain and the repubs that are behaving unAmerican...shame on them for resorting to the dirty, karl rove-style tricks. We should all be ashamed and send a strong message by voting against the repubs!

    October 19, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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