May 22nd, 2010
11:32 AM ET
4 years ago

Ex-WWE exec wins CT GOP Senate endorsement

Connecticut Republicans are backing former wrestling executive Linda McMahon as their Senate nominee. McMahon was endorsed at a state GOP convention Friday night.
Connecticut Republicans are backing former wrestling executive Linda McMahon as their Senate nominee. McMahon was endorsed at a state GOP convention Friday night.

(CNN) - Connecticut Republicans are backing former wrestling executive Linda McMahon as their Senate nominee. McMahon was endorsed at a state GOP convention Friday night.

"We are incredibly pleased with the growing momentum behind this campaign and the better-than-expected show of support we received from Republican leaders and activists around the state," said McMahon in a statement released by her campaign. "Elections are about contrast, and Connecticut Republicans today sent a clear and resounding message that they intend to challenge the Washington establishment and its hand-picked candidate with a political outsider."

But McMahon, who has spent tens of millions of her own money so far on her Senate bid, will still face a challenge for the Republican nomination in Connecticut's August 10 primary. Former Rep. Rob Simmons, who came in second in the endorsement battle, said he would challenge McMahon in the primary.

Businessman Peter Schiff, another GOP candidate, failed to capture enough votes at the convention to qualify for the primary, but indicated he might launch a petition effort to get his name on the August primary ballot.

Connecticut Democrats endorsed state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as their Senate nominee. Blumenthal has been under scrutiny in the past week, after the New York Times reported that he distorted his military service. The article alleges that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam and says that he never served in that war, even though the candidate has claimed he did in speeches before veterans groups and military families.

Last Tuesday Blumenthal acknowledged that he has not always accurately described his military service during the Vietnam War.

"On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that and I take full responsibility," Blumenthal said while surrounded by Vietnam veterans at a news conference in West Hartford. "But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

Friday night, at the convention, Blumenthal acknowledged that "I have made mistakes," according to media reports, adding that "I regret them. And I have taken responsibility."

Polls conducted prior to the past week's controversy indicated that Blumenthal was ahead by a more than two-to-one margin in hypothetical general election matchups against all three GOP candidates.

Democratic candidate Merrick Alpert, a businessman, ended his bid for the Senate after trailing badly in the vote count for the party endorsement.

The race is to succeed Sen. Chris Dodd. The five-term Democratic senator announced in January that he would not run for re-election this year. Dodd had been considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in this November's midterms.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Connecticut • Linda McMahon • Popular Posts • Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Thundering Dunderhead

    Don't care about this story, but the one above it regarding Palin's clothes mishap – really CNN?
    You leave the comment section open for 15 minutes, just time enough for those on Palin-Watch to receive the alerts and post their rabid posts, then close it when enough anti-Palin rhetoric is spewed?
    Americans are not stupid. With the country split on this women who is either loved or hated, where are the 50% posts that would logically be pro-Palin?
    Wake up CNN – we are living in enlightened times – people can see right through your bias.

    May 22, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. roberto

    great, she can literally beat the crap out of anyone with the backing of the WWE.

    May 22, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. ib

    Blumenthal should drop out of the race. This man is a disgrace to the party and vets. But that seems like the type that liberals love so he will probably stay in and win.

    May 22, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Willow

    McMahon, before winning an elections, has already become another face of the modern-day "Watergate GOP"...those who would lie, cheat and steal in their desperation for power and control.

    She doesn't represent change, she is just the second-coming of those left over from a failed era in American politics...the ones who sinned and never redeemed themselves!

    Truly Pathetic!

    May 22, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Sorensen

    So now we have a liar as candidate for the senate.
    Are they out of their minds?

    May 22, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Republicans love referring to the "Hollywood Elite" in the liberal camp but htye tend to forget how many Governors, Congressmen and other local politians ate from the entertainment industry.
    Their standard-barer, Ronald Regan, was once a mediocre actor.
    Now the wife of the first family of wrestling follows in the footssteps of Jesse Ventura into office. Yes, Jess was an Independent and a Governor, but his "walk" suggested a convervative edge.
    Perosnally, I would rather have celebrities "talk" politics than actually engage in them.

    May 22, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Marty, FL

    "Drill baby, drill" McMahon? Linda recently released a mailer wanting to loosen regulations (even further) for offshore drilling, while we are experiencing one of the worst, irresponsible disasters in the Gulf.

    How out of touch can these Republicans get? Yesterday with Rand Paul siding with BP and here CT GOP siding with McMahon, who would further expose our fisheries, tourism, and livelihoods with less (?!) regulations for oil execs. Nonsense.

    At least Blumenthal admits his mistake and takes personal responsibility. McMahon advocates continuing to allow "Spill baby, spill."

    May 22, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. johnmccain

    What is that "take back our country", "against Washington establishment" etc. talk, they want to be part of it!! This is how you generate influence after you made money, with a few exceptions... I love when some say that those bastard politicians, screwing us up in DC...etc. Why do you still want to be part of that crowd then?
    Truth is, once you become the member of that life, you need to make compromises to get something done. That is not being not tough enough, that is compromise. Like a marriage, one side can not take over without harming the equasion.
    Of course, on the campaign trail it is the tough guy speech... When do we grow up?

    May 22, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Republicans is smart in the head area

    From Rand Paul who was worried about Obama putting his "foot on the neck" of BP to Linda McMahon who has literally put her foot on the neck of her opponents in a fake wrestling match, the Republicans are fielding the worst group of Looney Tunes candidates I have ever seen. It's impossible to take them seriously.

    May 22, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. morris diehl

    Is this all you get for $50,000,000? Heck Whitman in California spent more than that and she definately is going to lose. McMahon should stick to rassling that way she can add to her collection of the young employees who died on her watch.

    May 22, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Keep on spending tens of millions, and you may just become the big corporation candidate from CT. I wonder if McMahon is as real as the product that made her rich.

    May 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. steven

    i think vince should run for presdent i think he would be great

    May 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Jeff Spangler

    The dumbing down of America is obviously at epidemic levels, even in a formerly well-educated and sophisticated New England state like Connecticut. Fake wrasslin' is so very ghetto.

    May 22, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. kem

    wha? Just what the hel is this world coming too?

    May 22, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Ethan

    THAT is who the GOP endorsed to be a U.S. Senator. Just think about it for a minute. Look at the photo of her husband, Vince McMahon, look at the WWF. All of the wrestlers pumped with steroids to create a "bigger" show. Could there be anything more awful to present as a role model for our children and society? This isn't a GAME, this is our COUNTRY and the FUTURE. The GOP is just pathetic.

    May 22, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Brenda

    McMahon is now only 3-4 points behind in the polls against Blumenthal.

    Based on Blumenthal's lies and stretching of the truth regarding his military service during Vietnam-–this might be enough to help McMahon to win the seat.

    Support for Blumenthal went down 10 points--since the information about his lies ("misspeaks') were exposed.

    Remember what happened to John Kerry.

    May 22, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The message is to contrast but no message about policy. LOL.

    May 22, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. SourMilkSea

    You know, nothing is for nothing in politics. And in the case of the far right, rallying the people with words like "capitalism" & "anti-socialism" only to drive support of big business, is something that we see weekly with news coverage of these Tea Parties. One has to wonder what tax cuts the World Wrestling Entertainment Corporation wasn't getting under Dodd and if anyone was intending to question the lack of medical beneifts offered to their performers as well as the Profit & Loss of touring 300 days a year, merchandising licensing and ad sales...I bet that a company the likes of WWE is a prime example of "cooked books." With all that said, what motive does a McMahon have for running for a politcal seat of power in the same state as her family's billion dollar corporation? To serve the middle-class because they empathize with the "working man's fight?" If that is the case, start in your own backyard! Get your talent W-4 paperwork and kick in some of the millions generated weekly to proper benefits, or it least allow them to unionize. (Which is forbidden, currently.) The bottom line is that this smells ridiculously like an ulterior motive scenario, and it is surprising that no one has called "foul" as of yet.

    May 22, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Gil

    Just another WWE fake! To members of the Party of Nn probably believe she is for real? Where is this nut case party of NO going? I bet they will be in for a big surprise come November if they keep this up. Between Rand Paul and McMahon I guess they must believe in racism, don't give BP a hard time and the slight of hand! Please Americans show you have some intelligence!

    May 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. BeverlyNC

    She BOUGHT the nomination. Not someone I would trust in Congress since she would also them be easily bought by the large corporations as all Republicans are – Big Oil, Big Banks, Big Insurance – and we see how well that has worked out for the American People!

    Republicans are always going to side with the large abusive corporations. Name one who has expressed any outrage or actions that should be taken against BP Oil and their environmental nightmare in the Gulf? Heck, the Republican Governors of those Gulf states won't even stand up for their own citizens against BP.

    Never trust a Republican, a large corporation, or someone who buys their seat. They are NOT going to work on YOUR behalf. They are there for the parties and the perks.

    May 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Gusher McGee

    I will defend to the death the GOP's right to nominate any wrestling executive; actor; governor who never completed a term in office; extremist son of an extremist father; or anyone else they want to nominate to try and win political office in this country.

    However, I reserve the right to laugh myself off my chair at who they actually end of nominating in their tea party reactionist frenzy of anti-incumbentism!!!

    This is one case in point...Linda McMahon. It seems interesting that it is always GOP candidates who 'spend tens of millions of their OWN MONEY' seeking office.......guess she was hand picked! ....by herself.

    May 22, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |