May 5th, 2010
05:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Cornyn: 'Thank goodness I'm not running this time'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. John Cornyn told CNN on Wednesday he is glad he isn't on the ballot this year."]Washington (CNN) – Just how bad is the political environment for incumbents?

Even the GOP Senator in charge of electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate admitted to CNN he's glad he's not on the ballot.

"Thank goodness I'm not running this time," said Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Cornyn was responding to a question about dim prospects for his colleague from Utah, Sen. Robert Bennett, a third-term incumbent who could lose his place on Utah's ballot as GOP candidate for re-election.

Utah Republicans will vote at their convention this weekend, and many conservatives are angry about some of Bennett's positions and votes in Washington, such as his support for the bank bailout in 2008.

"This is a really tough year for all incumbents because people are horrified by what they see coming out of Washington these days, and they don't distinguish between people who vote no and people who vote yes," said Cornyn, speaking in a hallway just outside the Senate chamber.

"That's the kind of headwind incumbents, including Republicans, are running into in the primaries."

At the same time, Cornyn suggested he's not altogether comfortable with the efforts of GOP Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina to back conservative candidates in other states around the country.

"I recognize that people as conservative as I am may not be able to get elected in some parts of the country, and my goal is simply to build our numbers so we can provide checks and balances to single party power here in Washington, D.C.," said Cornyn.

The NRSC Chairman said he understands DeMint's goal is to move the Republican conference in a more conservative direction, but Cornyn made clear that may not be practical.

"If that were possible and we were able to win elections all around the country I would be all for it, but I think as a pragmatic matter we have to nominate and elect Republicans who can get elected in their states," said Cornyn.

Filed under: 2010 • GOP • Jim DeMint • John Cornyn • NRSC
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. No Incumbents 2010

    What is Cornyn afraid of? Allowing the voters to consider his record of supporting RINOs? His support for TARP and the bailouts? His support of the Bush budget deficits? If Cornyn would stop supporting big-government RINOs he would not be so afraid of facing the voters. Only a career politician fears an election.

    May 5, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems have more to worry about, this round.

    May 5, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. gt

    you got that right ,,, both parties need new blood the ones that are here now have screw the whole country ,,,,,new faces,, especially in the senate,,,most senators are old , have no new ideas , or there so fat that they always loooking like they are sweating on t v,,,,

    May 5, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Pragmatic

    Big Government? What are republicans proposing for Wall Street today?

    T he Republican plan would continue the practice of having federal laws override state laws. Less federal government? Now what they smoking?

    Under the Democratic proposal, states would be allowed to write and enforce tougher laws, a provision opposed by the financial industry.

    By the way – labels like "rino" just show who is too lazy to do their own thinking ...

    May 5, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Cornyn says; "Thank God I'm nor running.....".

    I say......"Too Bad you're not runnin'"!!!!!

    This is one bum who sorely needs to be tossed out!!

    May 5, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. jake

    Republicans may do well in the mid-terms, but their long-range prospects are dim, and getting dimmer all the time. Too many pundits seem to be ignorant of, or simply in denial of, the fact that most people who are multi-generational republicans are more moderate in their social views. They are conservative in some fundamental ways–believe in smaller government, lower taxes, no unnecessary regulation or intervention–but are not conservative, and may even be more "libertarian," in social matters. Such folks will never be able to support a Tom Tancredo/Sarah Palin/JD Hayworth kind of candidate–not with any kind of enthusiasm, anyway. There is no evidence that the American people are more socially conservative now than they used to be. There is evidence, however, that the opposite of that is true, as evidenced by the trends on issues like gay marriage and drug decriminalization.
    Cornyn may be a coward, but he's correct in suggesting that it may be politically suicidal for the Republican Party to turn its support only towards the "Tea Party" side of things. The Tea Party may appeal to some, but their arguments are completely emotional, their positions incoherent, and they offer no clear vision, no solutions. And, to listen to many of them, you get the feeling that they would find people like Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan too left-wing.

    May 5, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Pam, Eugene, OR

    It is time for ALL career polticians go.
    We need Senators and Congressmen who do not owe favors to anyone. The only wayt to get that is vote all imcumbants out.
    We need to start fresh on both side.
    We can't support elected officials who are "too big to fail" because they are failing US.

    May 5, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. stuart

    Why is the Democrats so worried about the Gop?A top Republican just came out in said the Gop is going to be in the minority from here to eternity,because they cant get minorty voters,the Gop would need 64% of white voters in 2012 to win back the Whitehouse which is impossible,the majority of Americans might support the ARZ immigration law,but in the long run it hurts the Gop bigtime,a latino poll just came out yesterday showing 82% of latinos is going to vote Democrat,thats up from 56% only 2 months ago,in thats troublesome for the Gop..

    May 5, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. ConstitutionalPatriot

    Throw them all out! Fire em all keep Ron Paul! Everyone out there needs to wake up especially with this wall street regualtion nonsense, the only ones who are working for us are those who are pushing for an audit of the federal reserve! Forget wall street we need to audit the fed as they are the ones behind all the greed and fraud and the economic collapse! WAKE UP AMERICA PROVE WE STILL DESERVE TO BE FREE!

    May 5, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    He's thankful because his buddy Rick Perry(R) will not beat Bill White(D) in the Texas governor's election and he'll get some new marching orders.

    May 5, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. JonDie

    A leading senator of the extreme right is worried about winning in a state dominated by the extreme? Yeah right, this isn't news, this is CNN nonsense.

    May 5, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Boon

    Cornyn would not have anything to worrry about here in Texas but he is right about one thing and that is it is going to be ugly. Its going to be very ugly for the liberal democrats in our state even in Democratic districts. We have several Congressman that need to go and most likely will in November.

    May 5, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    as a voter in Texas i wish you WERE running so I could help vote you OUT!!

    May 5, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Larry

    Bennett isn't the only Republican who is sweating.

    Repubs are anti health care reform, anti Wall Street Reform, anti any kind of reform that would give the working class a chance in this country.

    We know all this Cornyn, and we're voting!

    May 5, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. jsilver2th

    Too bad he's not running this time- a good example of why we should let Texas seceed.

    May 5, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. cba99

    The GOP keeps pushing out moderates. Bennett is in-fact right of center. If they keep it up, the independents and the centrists willbe alienated. Somebody better get a grip.

    May 5, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. carlos

    and the next time you run, you will be RETIRED

    May 5, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    When you have absolutely nothing to run on like all of the Republicans, I wouldn't want to run either. All they have done is stand with big insurance companies, big business and wall street. Why would anyone other than rich people vote for them at all?

    May 5, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. Adalbert

    Working class people allover America are asking them self, what has the gop done for us? The answer is a unanimous: NOTHING. So, who needs them?

    May 5, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |

    The GOP really has more to be afraid of this election cycle than the Democrats do, they just don't see it because they are believing their own hype. The vast majority of American people have seen through their lies and playing of politics by being against what ever the Dems or President suggest. This became crystal clear when the President agreed with the GOP and then they changed their mind and voted against their own bill. What will happen is, in NOvember Vote No to the party of NO. The GOP is in for a big surprise because the Tea Baggers are not new, it's just a new name for the same 20% extreme base the GOP always had, and 20% doesn't win elections.

    May 5, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. George of the jungle

    The party of No does not want any repos that might actually be able to work with this administration to get things done. If you are smart and can look at both sides of an issue and come up with a middle of the road plan they don't want you. You must be far far right and able to lie through your teeth. If you are really stupid and wil follow blindly what the party tells you then yoe are a loyal member of the party of NO. No way No How NO No No

    May 5, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. Dick McRaniel

    The Reps have more to worry about, this round.

    May 5, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. as an american

    The problem is "absolute power corrupts absolutly"!!!! If someone's in office to long from either party they forget why they are there...i'm sure all politicians wanna make a change at first but then the longer they are in office the more comfortable they get and they start to realize their votes are worth money so they start to find loopholes in our system to get more and more and that snowballs into decete, lies and greed. That greed then gets to them and then they start to slip up and eventually..hopefully get caught...or they retire and everything gets buried and the people forget.

    The point is people, and it's very easy to understand, if someone's not doing their job vote them out. Don't keep them in because you are from the same party, keep them in because they are ethical, moral and actually listening to you the constituent and the people of their district that they are REPRESENTING (not other's, thats the point of a district).

    May 5, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Bill1234

    One thing about today's GOP they will though their own under the bus.

    May 5, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Meka


    May 5, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |