One year ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, the Senate Republican campaign committee says it will take a tougher stance in primaries that are contested by outside conservative groups.
Rob Collins, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters during a briefing that the committee will not hesitate to do what it takes to protect mainstream GOP candidates, reports Politico
"Would we spend money in a primary? Yes, we would if that’s the right move at the time," he said.
"The path to getting a general election candidate who can win is the only thing we care about."
The NRSC’s decision to lay low in 2012 in order to unify the party caused the GOP to lose several winnable races, including those in Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana, Politico reports.
Collins’ remarks come as the Senate Conservatives Fund, an outside group founded by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation, is ramping up its support for candidates taking on Republican incumbents including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Matt Hoskins, executive director for the Senate Conservatives Fund, has argued that the NRSC is more concerned with trying to re-elect the old Senate than it is in building a new one.
"The NRSC has every right to support candidates in primaries, but they can’t pretend their goal is to win a majority when they work against conservative candidates in solid Republican states where the conservative is just as electable as the establishment candidate," he told The Washington Post
"It shows that their true objective is to protect incumbents and to elect moderates even if it wastes money and hurts the party."
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