September 15th, 2010
11:51 AM ET
12 years ago

Cornyn issues upbeat tone on O'Donnell

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Sen. John Cornyn says his party is firmly behind O'Donnell."](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.

The check is the maximum amount the NRSC can give, but it is still a relatively meager one by political campaign standards.  Ultimately, it  remains to be seen how much the committee's Independent Expenditure is willing to spend on the race before November – the entity that has the discretion to dole out considerably more cash on behalf of GOP candidates.

"In the weeks ahead, we will decide where to best allocate additional financial resources among the large number of competitive races at stake this November," Cornyn also said. "While it's not in Republicans' interest to advertise our spending strategy to our opponents, it's worth noting that just yesterday, the NRSC's first independent expenditure ad aired in support of Dr. Rand Paul's campaign in Kentucky, where we firmly believe that he will win in November."

Still, the NRSC's now-upbeat town on O'Donnell is a marked contrast to its response last night, when the committee's executive director, Rob Jesmer, issued a terse congratulatory statement, but nothing more.

And behind the scenes, Republican officials were downright downtrodden about their newest nominee, making clear to CNN O'Donnell would not receive the party's support.

"Until she demonstrates some viability in the polls we are not going to have any money for her," a top Republican official told CNN's Mark Preston. "It is now incumbent on Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint and the Tea Party Express to help support her. They got her here. Now make it happen."

- CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Christine O'Donnell • John Cornyn
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Republicans is smart in the head area

    What's funny is that the GOP introduced Palin and the Tea Baggers to the world and can't control their Frankenstein monster. They managed to shut Rand Paul up long enough to keep him from running off the rails but Angle is an almost guaranteed win for Reid and O'Donnell is unelectable. There are far more Dems in Delaware and O'Donnell only appeals to the far right. She garnered less than 30,000 votes in a contest in which only Republicans could cast ballots. About 293,000 Democrats are registered in Delaware, compared with about 183,000 Republicans.

    I believe the phrase "The chickens have come home to roost" springs to mind.

    September 15, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Now Cornyn is exhibiting some smarter strategy.

    September 15, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Duck Fallas

    Deja vu- Cornyn the incumberent was actually against her before he was for her.

    September 15, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Of course Cornyn will say that, he lives in Texas along with Tea Party sicko Dick Armey.

    September 15, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. mike

    Four and The Door
    Really, this is going to give the GOP both the house and senate? I'm glad you're excited that idiots are being elected to determan the fate of our country. Stop hating on Dems and start thinking whats best for your country. Do you honestly think this woman will be a good representative? If so, you shouldnt be allowed to vote!

    September 15, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. michael tampa

    When you stand with a kook, you look like a kook too. Guess i won't be voting republican this cycle.

    September 15, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA September 15th, 2010 12:00 pm ET
    There you go Cornyn sticking your foot in your mouth. O'donnell's ex campaign manager says she's a fraud and you stand behind her? She used campaign donations to pay her rent! She's unethical and hasn't even been elected yet
    Kinda like Clinton suporting Rangel?

    September 15, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    anagram_kid September 15th, 2010 12:20 pm ET

    I have no doubt she will snap that money up after she clearly stated she would “win without them”. Another right wing hypocrite
    Kinda like the tranparency promise from the current adminstration?

    September 15, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. water bearer

    So is this sorta like rats jumping ON the sinking ship?????

    September 15, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Peter E

    CNN is trying to sell the Tea Party as a huge contender that's overturning government by knocking out seat after seat. This ignores the fact that over 90% of incumbents who ran for re-election won their primaries so far. (guess what's going to happen in November also) The Tea Party didn't even run/back any candidate in most elections. Also, while there were a few highly publicized upsets, most of the Tea Party backed candidates were actually also the republican establishment backed candidates. Overall the Tea Party's victories are but a few percentage of the whole, and many of those wins themselves are victories for the establishment too.

    September 15, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Vote republican! They make great leaders! They will endorse any winner after they've won! What great leadership!

    September 15, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Phil

    @ four and The Door and 30-Yr Vet. Not gonna happen, Keep on dreaming, you people are so toxic, do you really think mainstream America is going to go for this group of nut cases, I seriously don't think so .

    September 15, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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