comScore Report: GOP ‘Playing Hardball’ with Tea Party Candidates, Conservative Donors | Mediaite

Report: GOP ‘Playing Hardball’ with Tea Party Candidates, Conservative Donors

In an effort to head off “new Todd Akins” in the GOP primary field, the Republican Party is starting to put pressure on conservative donors to choose more establishment, competitive candidates, the New York Times reported Monday.

“I’ve been told by a number of donors to our ‘super PAC’ that they’ve received calls from senior Republican senators,” said FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe, who characterized the message thusly: “’I can’t give to you because I’ve been told I won’t have access to Republican leadership.’ So they’re playing hardball.”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) got the National Republican Senatorial Committee to drop a major advertising firm over its work for the Senate Conservatives Fund, which targets incumbent Republicans. SCF executive director Matt Hoskins said his employees have felt pressure to leave the group or be blacklisted.

“[McConnell’s] essentially joined the I.R.S. in targeting conservative groups,” Hoskins said. “It’s all meant to intimidate.”

The strategy is enjoying success. Richard Black, a Virginia conservative who was exploring a run for Congress, dropped his bid after major GOP entities endorsed his opponent, Barbara Comstock. “It was pretty evident that she had all the machinery,” Black said after dropping out.

[h/t New York Times]

[Image via Reuters]

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