The House Republican leadership is prepared to welcome Doug Hoffman into its ranks, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said Thursday, a sign that the GOP establishment is recalibrating its approach toward the contentious New York special election and the Conservative Party nominee whose candidacy has divided the party.Gee, you think?
“He would be very welcome, with open arms,” Sessions told POLITICO in an interview off the House floor.
Sessions’s comments came as polls showed Hoffman surging in the Nov. 3 special election against Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, a moderate who supports abortion rights and gay marriage, and Democratic attorney Bill Owens. Nearly a dozen rank-and-file Republican members announced their endorsements of Hoffman Thursday.
While the NRCC–along with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.)—have all thrown their backing to Scozzafava, grassroots conservatives have revolted against the GOP nominee, asserting that she is too liberal for them to support. Some have even called for conservatives to withhold donations from the NRCC in protest.
On Thursday afternoon, Sessions appeared to tacitly acknowledge that Hoffman may represent the GOP’s best chance to keep the Republican-held seat from being picked up by a Democrat.
See also, "NY23: Worry-Warts Are Worried, and the Hand-Wringers Are Wringing Their Hands." Plus, Memeorandum.
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