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. tiffany in ohio

    McCain is already trying to start a war with Columbia by saying "were going to force Columbia to become a Democratic nation". People were already in two wars, McCain is going to ruin us. OBAMA/BIDEN 08 PLEEEEEEAAAASE!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. MikeS

    You know that if the republican platform were worth anything today, the country would not be in the fix that it is. Look at all the republican representatives and candidates that are under scrutiny for a myriad of violations from coast to coast. If you're so good why are you so bad? Right wingers, do you have an answer, or have you cut a deal with the wrong party?

    October 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. MF

    If you support Obama, post all you can but please go and vote. Bring your friends too. He needs all of us. This election is not over until midnight Nov.4. PLEASE VOTE and TAKE your FRIENDS with you. Of course vote for President Obama.

    October 18, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. frustrated democrat

    And with that the transformation of John McCain into George Bush is complete...

    October 18, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. REG in AZ

    Regrettably it is not uncommon to see a measure of negativity and even questionable integrity and some dishonesty in presidential campaigns but I don’t think it has ever been as bad as we are seeing now. The ‘swift boat’ attacks on John Kerry definitely fell into that category but they were almost mild compared to what the McCain-Palin camp is doing. Since Palin came on board she has demonstrated a total absence of any need to insure fact and appropriateness and has simply been caught several times, which she then just shrugs off; that may be due in part to her writers and their efforts to overcome her knowledge shortfall. While it does reflect heavily on her character it hasn’t been limited to her and as the numbers keep favoring Obama more, the whole McCain camp has become more desperate and while really neglecting the issues has become more negative and demonstrates less quality. They are digging for and using any dirt without regard for its pertinence or validity. Recently John McCain admitted that the attacks on Obama regarding Bill Ayers were really stretching things yet his campaign is now conducting automated phone calls referring to it as being a terrorist connection and implying it negatively impacts Obama. Anyone who saw the last debate has to know that Obama answered that accusation and then the ACORN accusation as well completely and reasonably with valid answers and then challenged McCain to deal with the real issues which are so important to the voters. McCain-Palin’s refusal to focus on the issues tells its own story and their continuing with the totally negative approach tells another story: first, they have no valid answers for accomplishing real change or any resolution of the problems; second, their negativity identifies their preferred way of handling things and even their personal character. It would be a terrible shame if McCain’s tactics work as we have just had one president who has been grossly dishonest, arrogant, self-indulgent, irresponsible, without conscience and totally focused on a private agenda for the benefit of a select few and we sure don’t need to follow with another one. Better said, we literally can’t take more of the same!

    October 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Jack

    McCain shall reap what he's sown... He's run a truly VILE campaign – I can't wait for this to be over!

    When Obama's President the whole world will look at the US differently – in a GOOD way!

    October 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Bob

    This truly is a weird situation. I believe the voters know who they are going to vote for in the election. This may reinforce their choice.

    October 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. James

    McCain is a true soul seller. This guy isn't a maverick, he's a joke!

    October 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Greg

    CNN never publishes my stuff.

    October 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. mary magdalene

    MCCAIN KNEW WHAT HE WAS GETTING INTO GOING ON LETTERMAN. LETTERMAN HAS BEEN DOWN ON MCCAIN FOR WEEKS. MCCAIN SHOULD HAVE ACTED MORE PRESIDENTIAL. THAT'S WHY I'M VOTING OBAMA/BIDEN. VOTE FOR THE SMART GUY!!!!!

    October 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. ronbearoh of cmh

    John McCain has made a deal with the devil and there will be hell to pay.

    October 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Babs Johnson

    The problem is too many Americans fall for this guy's garbage. He might actually do McCain some good in North Carolina. If by "good" you mean lying to people to defraud them of their honest vote. Integrity is a meaningless word in America these days. And shame shame shame on the American people for not insisting upon it.

    October 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. Rich in Seattle

    Don't unpack your stuff. You won't be hanging around long.

    October 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Griff

    It's a Catch 22! 3/11/08? = 22?

    October 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Struggling to survive

    On the Tax thing with Cindy. Nice to know that when you make millions you don't pay much. My husband is, low and behold, a small business owner, and in no way is a Joe the Plumber type at all. We have always believed that we should pay our fair share, but ladies and gentlemen, it is 40% in taxes for us! This is not a typo. If he clears 100K, we pay 40K. And also to back up the misinformation on Joe the Plumber, after he pays payroll, rent, losses, he won't be anywhere near the 250K. I know very well how taxes work, when I see what my family has to do just to submit our taxes. I am with Obama, the last 8 republican years have been a joke to our family. Yes it has gotten progressively worse.

    October 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. democrat

    Change......that is all you will have left in your pockets if Obama gets into office.

    You think the economy is bad now, just wait until we put an even higher burden on small businesses. I built, and have been running small businesses for over twenty years, and I can tell you first hand that these lies about Obama's tax plan not hurting most small businesses are ridiculous

    Obama’s plan will raise the tax for small business to 55%, in other words: you take a huge risk and start a small business and “Uncle (Sam) Obama” takes 55% of every dollar.

    This, by the way, is not the profits that you put in your pocket; it is the profit you planned on investing to grow your business….but it is gone before you can use it. You can’t hire new people or buy new equipment because you have to pay your tax bill, and if you don’t pay it immediately you will be fined heavily.

    This is the real reason why jobs are being shipped overseas. The government is killing American business, they might as well be sitting in your office because you take all the risk and they take more than half before you make investments to grow your business.

    October 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Felines for Freedom

    How can you state with a straight face that you are not George W Bush and that you represent change when you continue to use the same people he used to get into the white house? Most Americans are not that dumb, Senator McCain.

    October 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. NickNas

    It warms my heart to see all of these good ole boys kissin and making up after all thye mean things they did to eachother in the past.

    Sad part is , they are only doing it to destroy a man because of the Color of his skin and out of pure Hate and Fear.

    October 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Diana Ewing NJ

    It seems exactly like the kind of help McCain needs.. Maybe he can keep them on one track... the low track, not exactly what McCain promised, but for sure the one he has taken since he took on his VP

    October 18, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Gary

    Not to worry, if he's a republican politician from S.C. chances are he can't recite the alphabet anyway. Have you heard Gramm talk. When he opens his mouth all you here is stupidity.

    October 18, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. JohnGalt

    Tompkins should do what's best for America, by resigning to the fact that McCain shouldn't be in the White House, just because he, and McCain are part of his political fraternity. McCain/Palin simple aren't capable of managing our nation, neither one has the intellect, backed with proven academic talents that are natural to Obama.

    October 18, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Ross in MD

    Well McCain has morphed into George Bush, it's only fitting that McCain's campaign would follow.

    October 18, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. independent in Texas

    I want my taxes cut, wealthy have had it good way too long...
    Texas for Obama

    October 18, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Xavier

    Jeff,
    John McCain isnt being judged for who he was, but who he has become. John McCain sold his principals, morals, integrity and soul for a shot at becoming president. The John McCain of today isnt the heroic McCain of yesterday.

    October 18, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Evan

    Probably will start with the racist or pesudo racist claims now...

    October 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14