Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, received some unlikely support Wednesday from a handful of Republicans.
Six Republicans, Margaret LaCroix of Glastonbury, Dr. Michael Giordano of Clinton, David Wolff of Ridgefield, Ted Powell of Colchester, Edith Kufta of New Haven, and Gary S. Matthews of Greenwich announced their support for Blumenthal’s candidacy in an open letter sent out by the campaign.
“We cannot support our Party’s nominee Linda McMahon,“ the six wrote in their letter. “We do not believe she has the right qualifications or experience to serve in the U.S. Senate, particularly now when Connecticut needs a strong, effective advocate fighting for us in Washington.”
LaCroix, one of the six Republicans who supports Blumenthal, said in a phone interview Wednesday that she thinks he has the experience to hit the ground running and knows the issues Connecticut cares about.
LaCroix, who worked for the Republicans in the General Assembly and is a self-described life-long Republican, said she had an opportunity to work with the attorney general on tobacco and clean air issues.
“He wasn’t afraid of big tobacco,” she said. “He was a man of integrity.”
LaCroix promises she’s not changing her political philosophy to support Blumenthal. She just thinks he’s the best candidate for the job at the moment.
In their open letter the six Republicans cited previous statements made by former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons and National Review editor Rich Lowry, as more reasons not to support Republican nominee Linda McMahon.
“When asked if Linda McMahon was ready to be a Senator, Rob Simmons responded ‘I don’t think she has any idea what the job is all about and I don’t say that in a mean way, I say that objectively,’” the six wrote.
“Mr. Lowry wrote ‘The Republican, Linda McMahon, is the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, which is to the popular culture what the BP spill is to the Gulf of Mexico — a relentless gusher of pollution.’”
But Ed Patru, McMahon’s communications director, said the numbers tell a different story and these six Republicans are a pretty rare breed.
“It’s important to remember that every single poll that has been released since January has shown Dick Blumenthal systematically losing support among Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike,“ Patru said. “Not a day goes by when Linda isn’t approached by at minimum a half dozen disaffected Democrats who are fed up with Dick Blumenthal’s nonsense and embarrassed by all his lies.”
Last week at a labor convention in Hartford Blumenthal maintained his independence.
“I have always been very independent. I’ve reached across the aisle in many of my most important fights,“ Blumenthal said. “That is my persona. That’s in my DNA and I’m going to remain a fighter for the people of Connecticut first, last, and always.”
U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd warned against Blumenthal‘s latest strategy of positioning himself in opposition to the Democrat-controlled Congress and President.
It ignores the Democratic base of supporters, who Blumenthal needs to get out and vote for him in November.
“You’ve gotta get your base out. If your base feels it doesn’t make any difference if your crowd is in then you’re not going to get 80 percent turnout in Bridgeport,” Dodd said last week at the same labor convention.
“Blumenthal has a serious problem with his base, and I’m as astounded as Chris Dodd is that he actually believes Republicans are going to send him to Washington. They will not,” Patru added Wednesday.
The race for the U.S. Senate will be all about the unaffiliated voters, he said.
An Aug. 4 Quinnipiac University poll found that independent voters are moving toward McMahon.
“Independent voters, the largest bloc of voters in Connecticut, are for the first time evenly divided between Linda McMahon, who gets 46 percent, and Richard Blumenthal, who gets 44 percent. Blumenthal led 54 – 35 percent among independent voters just three weeks ago,” Doug Schwartz, Quinnipiac University Poll Director, has said.
But Blumenthal’s campaign contends “Republicans for Blumenthal” is just one way of showing the breadth of support for their candidate.
“Republicans For Blumenthal is just one more example of the depth and breadth of support Dick has earned across the state among people from every part of the political spectrum,” Mindy Myers, Blumenthal’s campaign manager said Wednesday. “The people of Connecticut – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – know Dick Blumenthal will fight for them and stand up to the special interests in Washington just as he has in Connecticut.”
The Blumenthal campaign launched a web site where Republicans can go and show their support for his candidacy. To date 75 Republicans have signed up to support him.