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. No credibility

    Can McCain have any self respect left?

    He is now paying the same people that trashed him in 2000 and whose actions he condemned. One thing he is proud of and mentions at every opportunity is campaign finance reform. The main reason he feels so strongly about this is because of what he went through in 2000. Now he is paying these same people to trash Obama using the same tactics he condemned in 2000. Nice work, Maverick.

    October 18, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. h coker

    In 04 McCain had the opurtunity to join John Kerry as a Vice Presidential running mate, would have shown he really wanted to do good for his country but he kinda sold his soul to Bush. Up until then I had respect for him but not any more. He is using the same slimy people as George Bush used in his capaign. All you have to do is look it up on the internet. They have no regard or care what damage they may cause to america its citizens.

    October 18, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. McCain=the draft

    We have to get out and VOTE!
    We have to win big so the GOP cannot steal this election!

    October 18, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. peggy from pa

    Hope none of you that are looking for tax cuts are also looking for any kind of education or other programs because O'bama is telling you what you want to hear to get elected then he will tell you how sorry he is cause he can't deliver. Don't follow the herd....Vote McCain/Palin

    October 18, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Marx/Engels '08

    McCain lost any shred of shame or honor years ago. I think he may have even left it all in Hanoi.

    Hiring the man who smeared your adopted daughter? Way to stand up for your child and your family, you fraud!

    October 18, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Ken in IA

    Another fine example of a hate filled racist deceitful right winger.

    October 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. natasha in tally

    Come on Obama supports we are almost there. Vote early where you can and take friends with you. I have volunteered to work at a poll in the african american community because I know that voter suppression( the RNC old faithful) will be strong in those areas. A want to pick up where the freedom riders left off and take as many people to the polls as i can fit in my car. early voting in florida begins 10/18/08. you may steal out signs and try too distract but this november the american people will overcome!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Obama 08

    October 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    I know of 5 early NC voters in Mitchell County that voted for the Obama/Biden ticket including me. It's the 1st thing me and my mother-in-law has agreed on since my wife and I married over 10 years ago. I also can't recall the last time I've seen so many democratic bumper stickers in this traditionally Republican stronghold. It's given me real hope for the Obama/Biden ticket to win it all!

    October 18, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. R. Squibbs

    It's official: McCain has sold his soul.

    Not fit to lead indeed.

    October 18, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. don

    Does the "F" wprd mean anything to the McCain camp. Fascist.

    October 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. The Bluest Skies are in Seattle

    Get your bags packed McWar You and Bush are both headed south /People are full up of your lies,crooked tactics in every move you make.
    Oh and forked tongue with the high pitched voice kids ,Todd fallowing her will be heading to Alaska .
    Just look around at what you have done to this country shame on you your are a sore looser.

    October 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. sandee in Portland

    How sad that McCain has now completely surrounded himself with those people that worked so hard against him in 2000. These are the people who he said, at that time, were dishonest people; yet, now he chooses them to help him campaign. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

    October 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. phil

    I love when people who say they are christians as such we should act Christ-like(i guess the WWJD was just a marketing campaign), but when it comes time to taking care of the less-fortunate and disabled and elderly they decry "socialism" or "communism."

    Please stop calling yourselves true christians if you do not follow what Jesus said. The hypocrisy is maddening.

    October 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. Get out and vote for Obama

    if you can vote early PLEASE vote early and get out the way. Every early vote will reduce the long lines Nov 4. Early vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. sacto joe

    McCain/Palin campaign is a campaign of

    McCain/Palin rallies are looking more and more
    like NAZI rallies.

    If Dems are SOCIALISTS, does that make
    Repubs FASCISTS???

    TAX FAIRNESS isn't the same as

    October 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Dwight

    time is running out and so is the money. time to start spinning more
    senator McCain.

    Change is inevitable ,08

    October 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. Dwight

    time is running out and so this the money John.


    October 18, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |


    October 18, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Obama Supporter from UK

    Broadway Al – The are all moderated you ignoramus (both for the question and your previous posts).

    Likening Obama to Hitler – you are a fool of the highest order.

    October 18, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. More of the same

    McCain has adopted the Bush/Rove policies, divisive tactics, and now the personnel is officially complete. What happened to McCain? No thanks.

    October 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Doctor Dave

    Somewhere in the background I smell essence of Carl Rove. Phantom of the Operate!

    October 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Blue Dog Dem in NC

    McCain must be desparate if he has to import a crooked Republican from SC. Here in NC Carter Wrenn and Tom Ellis are the world champions of cooking ballot boxes. That's how Jesse won so many times after going into election day behind in the polls and outspent. The final talley AFTER the election was always Jesse spent more money in the last two days and won. What a concept!!

    Has McCain alienated the Ellis-Wrenn machine so bad he has to bring Warren Tompkins from SC. He's got to do something. Katherine Harris isn't the NC Sercretary of State.

    October 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Independent for USA only

    I just read the news that Joe the Plumber is not a plumber at all and he admitted that he did not make $250,000 a year. Republicans just lost all the credibility. I do not quite understand why some politicians just believed that they could really wag the dog.

    October 18, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |


    Someone IS putting something in McCain's Metamucil.

    October 18, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. kenn europe

    As a european, i´m kind of sick hearing Americans using the word SOCIOLIST like it´s a TABOO: we practice sociolist Democracy and i´m pretty sure we´re better off than you, because we´ve started using your $$$ in wiping our behind, and by the way look at where the ALMIGHTY KAPITALISM brought you, and quit kidding yourselves you more SOCIOLIST than we are right now.CNN post these.

    October 18, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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