October 18th, 2008
04:48 PM ET
2 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. broadway al

    take from the rich and give to the poor
    where oh where have I heard that before?
    Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.
    Obama is doing what Hitler did. Pointing his finger at
    a particular group of citizens and holding them accountable
    for problems he was part of administering .
    Discrimination is discrimination. Perhaps we should tax
    some groups of people by their hair type?

    October 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Brenda

    Will they stop at nothing? Obama is being vilified over this stupid Joe the Plumber crap when it is McCain who brought this man so much unwanted celebrity by talking about him nonstop during the last debate. It is so obvious McCain is desperate and scrambling for any little shred of indecency he can find, that he would hire someone who smeared him so badly when he ran against his buddy, Bush. The whole campaign needs to be thrown to the wolves, mainly the ones in Alaska, so those animals can get their justice.

    October 18, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. DebM, Allentown PA

    I can not believe the divisiveness that members of the GOP are promoting in an attempt to win this election. Racism and hate, which we knew existed but had faded more into the background, have raised their ugly heads again. I hope we take this opportunity, knowing it's out there, to once and for all say that we will not stand for it. We are the UNITED States of America, no matter how much people like McCain, Palin, Bachmann and others try to make us the DIVIDED States of America.

    Please vote Obama/Biden and put us back on the track to healing and unity.

    October 18, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Chloe

    “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.”

    And it's just as well...

    October 18, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Vicky Vee

    The Repuggs need all the help in the world!
    But putting other Dirty lying cheats on board will only pull
    McCain further away from victory.
    Throw all that you can at Obama............He is still the Better Man!!!!
    Obama/Biden 08
    For the Right Change and Change we CAN Believe in!!!
    Because no matter what you guys put out on him now,
    who's gonna believe that crap.
    And.........WHO wants to even hear or see it anyway.
    You just hate losing a battle John.........Just as you think pulling out of Iraq would mean losing the War!
    Well fight as hard and as dirty as you can,
    This is yet another battle you WILL be LOSING!
    I would say better luck next time, oops.....but time is not on your side huh? lol

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

    CNN in its quest to become just like Fox. All GOP all the time.

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

    It is totally unbelievable that McCain who has a past with Liddy and Palin found to have abused her power, a witchcraft-prayong preacher, palling around a pregnant daughter, a husband who belongs to an organization who wants to separate themselves from the US can have the audacity to throw stones at anyone.

    October 18, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. sacto joe

    The latest attack on the Democrats as being "anti-American" and "socialist" probably stems from this slimeball.

    Frankly, it's gotten me pretty steamed, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Just one more reason to make sure I vote in a couple of weeks.

    So keep drumming up support for your base, Senator McCain, and keep alienating the average American in the process.

    And keep reaching out, Senator Obama. Joe the plumber is an idiot for not recognizing who it is that's fighting for him and who it is that's out to rip him off....

    October 18, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Linda from AZ

    VOTE EARLY and take 4 other voters with you!!

    Raise your voice VOTE

    October 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. NVRuby

    Soul selling to Satan, 100% complete.

    October 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Texas Mom for Obama

    The McCain campaign is trying to divide the country with all of this talk about "pro-American areas", vs. "un-American areas". The way you run your campaign is the way you will run your administration. This is the year we are awake and will take the country back. No to McCain/Palin, they are a joke!

    October 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. broadway al

    It seems any comment I make is held by CNN for "moderation".

    October 18, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. BM

    He didn't vet Joe, the plumber like he didn't vet Palin and he is still talking about this guy who is a fake.

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

    McCain/Palin are disgusting. They have made this election a disgrace. I am sick of their smear tactics and lies. Now with this voter suppression tactic, they are doing their best to cheat to win. It's awful. They have injected so much hate into this race – I don't know how the country can come together after this is over.

    I can think of a few "S" words to describe McCain: senile, selfish, stupid, sanity-challenged, scare-tactics... oh, and of course, the "S" word that truly is frightening: Sarah.

    October 18, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Shirley-Ohio

    STOP THE DRAMA, VOTE FOR OBAMA

    October 18, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. CindyN--PA

    Time for a tax policy that works for me. That's why I'm voting for Obama. Why should the rich not have to pay more when they can afford it? Why do people that make under $75k a year not understand that you will never be one of those people earning $250k a year. So you dont need to worry about the Rich peoples claim that it's a redistribution of wealth. Why would you care?

    October 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Pat

    How in the world can this unpopular man help McCain's campaign??
    I just don't get it....McCain has now invited that fake, non tax-paying, non-registered voter, "joe the plumber" to stump with him. HUH???
    Obama's tax plan: Is McCain really not understanding it, or is he just plain lying in his attacks against it, hoping that we're really stupid?
    Fortunately, I live in an early vote state and have already voted, so I could just turn this all off until it's (thankfully) over.

    October 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Stop censoring me CNN -

    Want to know why the republicans fight so hard to maintain their presidency?

    Google PNAC

    October 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. henriettap

    The McCain camp have a letter also it's the H word (help) I'm lost don't know what to do next.We're flip flopping like a fish out of water.Please please help me find what direction we need to go to next ,can't find which mud puddle we are suppose to get to.

    October 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. BM

    anyone who hates the government and refuses to pay back taxes. is not a real plumber is pathetic that this man is even getting press time. I imagine that Cindy and McCain will pay his back taxes.

    October 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. TX Independent for Obama

    McCain really is flailing. This is presidential behavior?!

    What if we faced a national crisis? Would McCain flail around grasping at straws as he is again? Perhaps he should heroically suspend his campaign for a day again.

    Don't gloat, vote!

    October 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Betty, Virginia

    Being a POW earns McCain our respect however, it does not qualify him in any way to be president. His judgements the last eight years as a senator (including chosing a running mate with who abused her power instead of going through proper channels like "joe sixpack" would have to do) shows that his time has come and gone. He doesn't get it... the majority of Americans don't want him (that's if you include the ones that Ailin/Failin/Palin doesn't include in her definition of pro-American).

    Cindy and John McCain/ Barbie and GI Joe hit retirement age...

    VIRGINIA WILL BE BLUE AND NORTH CAROLINA PLEASE JOIN US! (after all a lot of us retire in your beautiful state)

    October 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. fascist all-street NEO-CON ALERT!

    400 families own half of this country, according to the recent stats.

    they are trying to gobble up the other half before Bush has to release his power, or

    by replacing bush with Mcbush.

    vote mcbush if you want yourself and your children to be permanent slaves to the 400 families and their fascism.

    October 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. bob

    So what does McCain have to do before he's used up any crediblity he has left?

    Does being a POW mean he can do anything and everyone still has to say what a good man he is?

    So he can leave his wife and that's fine. Be a part of the biggest banking scandal until a month ago and that's fine. How many people can he kill before he is not fine? 1? 4? 100?

    He is a vile man who would do ANYTHING to win. He made his deal with the devil. I, for one, don't want McCain paying the devil back with my tax dollars.

    I would vote to keep Bush/Cheney over McCain/Palin.

    October 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Gracie

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT "DESPERADOS OF CORRUPTION"

    October 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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