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. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    The same people that brought you Bush/Cheney for the past 8 years are now giving you McCain/Palin.

    Gonna fall for it again? Not me.

    October 18, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Helen

    The why the campaign is going is reminding me of when Tysen (McCain) bit Hoyfield's (Obama) ear off when he was losing the fight back in 1997.

    October 18, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. Amy

    I guess if you couldn't beat them before you want them working for you now, right McCain?

    And to think I thought you were a man with principles...

    October 18, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. Oregonian for Obama/Biden

    I really like what the Texan Independent for Obama had to say....

    Don't gloat...., VOTE.

    Obama is so close to sprinting through that finish line. That being said, we Obama supporters need to stick together, vote early if we can, encourage our fellow Obama supportes to also vote early, and stay involved even after we help him to win the election on November 4th. Remember, Obama winning this election is only the beginning, and he will be able to do great things with our help and support. But, we can't afford to become complacent either – it's more important than ever to stick together and make sure that Obama gets to the White House. I simply don't put anything past the Republican party and this election is not about them...it's about all of us. This country truly has a chance to once again be FOR the people and BY the people. About dang time, I'd say.

    VOTE!

    Obama/Binden 2008!

    October 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Babu1961

    The GOP is running an extremely negative and dangerous campaign. And what do they expect out of it – that KKK, right-wing hardliners and other miscellaneous racists vote for them. But don’t these folks always vote for the GOP in any case.

    October 18, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. northernexposure

    these are the things that senator mccain is going to be remembered for. history will look back on the dirty divisive nature of the 2008 campaign and the prejudices that nearly tore our great nation apart. it is sad that after a lifetime of service to this country, this is the man that john mccain the war hero has become. nice legacy.

    October 18, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. David

    McCain would work alongside the devil if it would get him elected. He has no honor.

    October 18, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Finally a paper endorses McCain so "let's try to keep it balanced" CNN prints it along with one of the MANY who have endorsed Obama. The mainstream media puts ratings over honest, objective reporting.

    McCain is a liar and a sellout who slings mud, lies and smears and then whines and cries foul whenever anyone criticizes him.

    October 18, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    JOHN MCCAIN IS STILL TOO OLD NO MATTER WHO WORKS ON HIS CAMPAIGN AND MCCAIN USED BAD JUDGEMENT WHEN HE PICKED PALIN.

    October 18, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Texas Trail Kitty

    Are these guys klansmen? I just read where the 'wonderful' klan left their dirty fliers on newspapers in a neighborhood in Oklahoma, a town called Ada, I believe. Is this what we have to lookd forward to? Will McCain's presidency result in a resurgence in the darkest time in our history?

    October 18, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. McCain is a Puppet

    Anybody complaining about the current tax rate on businesses has George W. Bush to blame.

    Obama will offer tax credits to small businesses that hire American workers and he will give a TAX CUT to 98% of small business owners (including Joe the Plumber).

    Obama = TAX CUTS for 95% of WORKING Americans (Obama is not giving your money to crack-heads and welfare moms in the ghetto as racist and out of touch Republicans would like you to believe).

    If you want the truth, go to a non-partisan fact check website and read about each candidate's tax plan. Don't just listen to the Republican smear machine which has not made a true and factual statement in the last 3 months about Obama's tax plan (even McCain himself is lying through his teeth about Obama's tax plan).

    Finally, as others have said, make sure you vote and make sure you take all of your friends with you. Call in sick on 11/04/08 and have voting parties! Do whatever you need to do to get as many people as you can to vote for Obama.

    Democrats, Republicans, and Independents unite for change!

    We can all work together to make this country better.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    October 18, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. Richard

    Tompkins used slimey tactics when he went against McCain. No wonder McCain wants him on his side.

    October 18, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Ork

    Din't McCain call the robo-calls as "hate-call".. yet, he is taking the same route, that slimed her adopted daughter.. oh how the mighty fall..

    October 18, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. mike

    Anyone that had everything going great with Presiden bush can vote either way they want ir even stay home next election...But as for us that find it so hard to pay our bills, live from pay check to pay check. We have option"That One". He started with a better address to issues and also better vision for me on Taxes.

    October 18, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. Jim Flynt

    I voted for Obama and took a friend with me. Please everyone – Vote! Vote!! Vote!!! McFoodfight would be the worst thing to ever happen to this country – even worse than Bush!!!!

    October 18, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. teri

    How sad that he would hire the same man to smear someone else, that
    caused such pain for his family only 8 years ago. Where is the old John McCain I miss him so much.

    October 18, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. Frank G

    Let's see. So far they have called him an elitist, a terrorist and now a socialist. Pretty soon they'll just be calling him Mr. President.
    McCain states he has served this country since the age of 17.
    It's time to thank him for same and simultaneously refute the disservice he and his running mate have foisted upon the USA with their unconscionable conduct.

    October 18, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Chris

    This should be good – get a bunch of Rovians running around like "chickens with no heads" to try to BS the nation and plug one hole after another. It's entertaining to see what these clowns come up with – and more entertaining to see the reaction/cheering from (what's left of) the "base".

    October 18, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. Darbel

    He wont make any difference,unless he use race

    October 18, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. thomas

    When you have so much that you can afford to let go of nothing, you have too much and deserve nothing. Measured wealth will always have greater value than treasured wealth.

    October 18, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. supporter

    McCain anbd
    Palin have become the NEW McCarthy squad. REMEMBER how McCarthy had a list of names that were un-Americans and Palin just said that there were some placdes that were not Pro-
    AMERICAN. THISW IS DANGEROUS TALK

    We can't got back to McCarthyism.

    October 18, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Jan in CA

    Why would anyone want to work with the McCarthy panic riden McCain/Palin ticket. Oh yeah, this guy is another one of the RADICAL RIGHT WINGNUTS!!! No wonder :-)

    October 18, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. THE END OF AMERICA by OBAMA

    Suck it up you disgusting kool aide drinkers. Never have I seen so many people swimming around in the slime at the bottom of the barrel as obamabots. The low life of society.

    October 18, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. Tired of Republicans

    There is good news for McShame if [and when] he loses the election. I heard that Michelin Tire Company wants him to be the real live Michelin Tire Man.....

    October 18, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. lovable liberal

    Stockholm Syndrome. McCain was tortured. Now he acquiesces in the ability of the CIA to continue Duhbya's torture policy. Now he makes common cause with one of the men who viciously abused him in 2000. It appears that there is no depth to which John McCain will not stoop in pursuit of his overweening ambition. It's sad, really.

    October 18, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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