Washington (CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dismissed a request Wednesday from an influential social conservative organization to skip a fundraiser for a Republican gay and lesbian advocacy group, saying that even though he does not agree with the group on social issues he shares its views on fiscal discipline and economic policy.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, sent Cornyn a letter on Monday saying that “it is deeply troubling” that the Texas Republican would attend an upcoming Log Cabin Republicans fundraiser, because the organization does not represent the ideals of the Republican Party.
“Your work in the U.S. Senate on issues important to the family is well known, as is your close association with Family Research Council and the work we do, which makes the association all the more distressing,” Perkins wrote in a letter provided to CNN by the FRC. “In deference to the work you have done against the debasement of our culture, I would ask respectfully that you withdraw from attending the event.”
But Cornyn, who oversees campaign efforts for Senate Republicans, said that he planned to attend the event and explained that he “accepted for two reasons” in a letter sent Wednesday to Perkins.
Read both letters after the jump:
Editors note: Watch for more real time dispatches from the hallways on Capitol Hill as CNN's correspondents and producers cover the machinations of Congress. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news- now even more so.
2:15 p.m. - Christine O'Donnell told CNN's Jessica Yellin in a mocking tone that the National GOP does not have a "winning track record" in GOP primaries this season.
The NRSC, under the leadership of John Cornyn, has in fact backed losing GOP candidates this primary season in Kentucky, Alaska, Colorado, and more.
I just interviewed Cornyn, who responded to that by saying, "My record will be determined after November 2nd and how many pickups we'll have. I'm not making any predictions here today. We have about a dozen seats in play. I think November 2nd, that's when my report card will get graded."
(CNN) - What a difference 14 hours makes.
Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman John Cornyn is making clear his party is strongly standing behind Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell – a statement that is in stark contrast to the lukewarm response the party issued after her win Tuesday night.
"Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee's chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O'Donnell in Delaware," Cornyn said in a statement Wednesday. "I reached out to Christine this morning, and as I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support."
Cornyn also pledged to inject $42,000 into the race on her behalf – a move that conflicted with reports Tuesday night that the party would not offer the political newcomer any financial support.
12:19 p.m. ET – I just ran into NRSC head John Cornyn coming off the elevator. Most Washington Republicans will tell you on background they think the Delaware Senate pick up is gone for them if Christine O'Donnell wins the GOP primary, but they are reluctant to say so on the record.
Cornyn came pretty close.
He said that not only does he have doubts about whether O'Donnell can win in Delaware, but he also admitted that race is the "lynchpin" to any chance of Senate Republicans taking back the majority. He also said if O'Donnell wins, they would have to have a "powwow" about whether to dedicate any money to that race.
First, I asked whether he's worried about O'Donnell's electability.
(CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the NRSC, is out with a statement Monday on the close Alaska election race.
His message: It doesn't matter who wins.
Read Cornyn's statement after the jump:
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Wednesday he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination for the Supreme Court.
"Solicitor General Kagan's testimony before the Judiciary Committee did not assure me that she agrees with the traditional understanding of the proper role of a judge," Cornyn said in a statement. "Judges should strictly interpret the written Constitution, which means both enforcing written limitations on the scope of government power, such as the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause, as well as not inventing new rights or imposing their own policy views on the American people."
Cornyn is the second Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Kagan's nomination. He joins Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch who announced his opposition earlier this month.
Cornyn said Kagan's explanations of her judicial philosophy were "vague and open to multiple interpretations" and that she was "unable to articulate limits on the federal Commerce Clause power."
Sens. Cornyn and Menendez sparred Sunday over what Democrats inherited in January 2009. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) – With the midterm elections less than five full months away, the man in charge of the GOP’s election effort in the Senate issued a sharp rejoinder Sunday to an oft-repeated message from national Democrats.
In the 17 months since President Obama took office in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Democratic leaders have frequently said Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats “inherited” a mess on several fronts left behind by the Bush administration acting in league with House and Senate Republicans.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, suggested it’s time for Democrats to take responsibility for controlling the levers of government.
“Well, I’m waiting for this administration to take responsibility for the job it volunteered for and our Democratic colleagues who are in the majority [in the House and the Senate] and who run the show in Congress,” Cornyn told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
Challenged by Crowley on the frequent Democratic contention that Obama has “inherited” a difficult set of circumstances from his predecessor, Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said his party is trying to put the present situation in the proper context.
Related: Senators signal contentious hearing on Supreme Court nominee
Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul backed out of his Sunday morning talk show appearance, but that didn't stop people from talking about him.
Paul, the Tea Party-backed eye doctor who won Kentucky's Republican Senate primary last week, cited exhaustion as well as a desire to put behind him controversy over his comments on the Civil Rights Act in deciding against a previously scheduled appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," according to host David Gregory.
Gregory also said Paul's spokesman issued a statement saying Paul wanted to avoid the "liberal bias" of the media.
Paul, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, has said he opposes racism but believes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was too expansive in dictating that privately-owned businesses must serve all customers. He later said he supported the landmark legislation but continued to question what he called the excessive role of government in the lives of U.S. citizens.
Most fellow Republicans characterized the issue as a mistake by a rookie politician, but Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is African-American and is trying to broaden the party's support among minorities, said it involved a personal philosophy that "got in the way of reality."