October 18th, 2008
04:48 PM ET
3 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. April

    Not really surprised. I wonder what took him so long...

    October 18, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. jonathan

    Why?
    McCain/Palin lost ages ago.

    October 18, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. linda from South Dakota

    lol, so mccains even more desperate,, ummm why tho,,,,? he doesnt hava chance,,, people remember the lies hes told. therefore,,, we dont want a liar for our president,,,,, obama/biden 08 and beyond

    October 18, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Sarah....and my last name isn't Palin

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, but selling your soul to the devil never works. It's OVER John McCain

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 18, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Arkay, MI

    Is he the guy who conducted 'push polling' in 2000 spreading rumors that McCain had an illegitimate black child, McCain apparently has no shame.

    October 18, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. I like the McCain of 2000

    John McCain might be ahead right now had he stayed true to himself and not hired the same campaign team that smeared him in 2000. I can't believe he would allow those people to work for him and run a nasty attack campaign against Obama. If McCain had been himself throughout this spring, summer, and fall, who knows what might have happened.

    October 18, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Jeff, Charlotte

    Get out of our state McSame campaign.

    NC is blue this year, guaranteed.

    October 18, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. turning IN blue from Chicago

    Calling in the man who helped Bush destroy him in 2000. Desperation at its best!

    OBAMA-BIDEN 08
    FOR THE CHANGE WE NEED

    October 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. hopeful in hawaii

    Is this the guy that started the rumors that Bridget was McCain's love child with a black woman? With friends like these, who needs enemies...?

    October 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Suzy of MI

    Everything else he has is Bush's, why not this guy too right?

    October 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Rick S

    sell your soul to the devil john

    October 18, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. David Newport, OR

    Ever wonder how much the rival is being paid to "come on board"? And so...if you can't convince someone you are worthy by your policies, you can buy them. Typical Republican attitude. I wonder if the 95% of Americans whose taxes will increase if McCain is elected care about something like this?

    October 18, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Greg FL.

    McCain has shown. He would sleep with a snake if he thought it would get him votes.

    October 18, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Lee from FL

    like i said, cant wait till nov 4th to get rid of them all

    October 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Former McCain Supporter

    John McCain is a shell of his former self. How can he look his adopted daughter in the eye? What a disgrace.

    October 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. nancy

    Give it up – people have already decided, and you can't change it.

    October 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. John in VA

    Just goes to show you – money talks and BS walks. Too bad it won't work.

    "That One" 08

    October 18, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Mike

    This is one likely source of all the "bathroom sinks and other appliances" that are about to be thrown at the Obama/Biden side. Prepare for the worst that political human nature can deliver over the next 18 days of Republican desperation.

    October 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    The McCain campaign and the GOP have clearly called, "All mudslingers on deck!"

    Sigh ... how long is it until November 4?

    October 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. trifecta

    He has now hired everybody who was involved in smearing him in 2000 in South Carolina. The robocall firm, Tucker Eschew were already on the payroll.

    It's complete now. McCain has literally sold out the last ounce of integrity he had left.

    October 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Another Republican for Obama/Biden

    So the dogs are coming out. What they don't have in the McCain/Palin campaign is experience.

    What war has John McCain won?

    October 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. SC BLUE

    I missed out on the S word commentary...looks to me like the word LIBERAL isn't such a bad thing any more, so the WING NUTS had to come up with something else to scare the American people...so new label-socialist.

    October 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Maggie from Virginia

    We have them right where we want them!

    October 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Becky Smith

    Here is the truth: Sen.Obama will cut taxes for 95% of the working people who pay taxes. That is not welfare. These people pay taxes. When your income is 40,000, extra dollars will help you tremendously. Sen.McCain will cut taxes mostly for the top 5% of the earners. This is the same policy as Pres.Bush and we know it created a huge deficit and job loss.

    Look at the 100,000 who showed up to see Sen.Obama today. Yes We Can.

    October 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Republican for Obama

    Who cares!!! Come on NC, we can still hold our conservative views and still know that Obama is the right person for the job. Vote for the right person for president and not party line.
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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