Senate Republicans: Picking Horses

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, picked to run the Republican Party’s next run of Senate campaigns, says he wants to prevent Democrats from choosing Republican candidates in future elections.

“I think it’s important for Republicans to initially make certain that Democrats don’t help choose our nominees,” Moran told reporters in Washington after being unanimously elected chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “We’ve seen that in a couple of elections and a couple of election cycles.”

The Senate Republican establishment in Washington needs to decide how involved it should be in selecting GOP candidates in primary elections versus giving state and grassroots organizations autonomy to pick candidates, Moran said.

“It’s critical that those decisions about who we as a campaign committee might support are made by people in those states and not by folks in Washington, D.C.,” Moran said.

“We need to go to the grassroots and the political environment of each state, each race, if we decide to make an investment on particular candidates,” he added. “At this point the goal would be to recruit good candidates and make sure that there’s options for Republicans in every state to have somebody that they would find acceptable.”

Moran has asked Texas Republican Senator-Elect Ted Cruz to be vice chairman of the NRSC for grassroots outreach. Cruz accepted the position and will “do outreach to grassroots organization across the country “to make certain that we make decisions as far as support for candidates that are based upon what people want in those states,” M9ran said.

Moran also has asked Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, who was a close adviser to Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, to be NRSC vice chairman for finance — which he, too, has accepted. “He has expressed a willingness and interest in working any way to help the Senate campaign committee succeed,” Moran said.

When asked what he might do to prevent the Tea Party from electing radical candidates that can’t win general elections, Moran said only: “The opportunity exists at this point to bring interested Republicans together so we don’t have that circumstance in the future. Every election cycle is different.”


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