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November 24, 2009

Chuck DeVore vs. Carly Fiorina

Yesterday Ace mentioned the two Republican primary candidates out here in California competing for the chance to unseat Senator Ma'am Boxer. He wrote that his impression based on limited facts is that DeVore is the true conservative and Fiorina is closer to the squishy moderate.

That's what DeVore wants you to believe, but it's far from clear that it's the truth. DeVore wasted no time attacking her for being pro-choice...even though she says she is pro-life. I asked Chuck's campaign consultant to explain where he got the idea that she was pro-choice and his explanation was less than convincing (I discuss it at "BTW").

And so it has gone since August. I haven't really come to a preference for either candidate so far. I like DeVore and I think he's a good guy. He'd make a good senator. He's been at this longer and his campaign is certainly better organized and better positioned to win the primary than Fiorina's. But I'm disappointed at the sleazy campaigning.

On the other hand, I don't have much of an idea what Fiorina is about. She doesn't have a political track record and she's made some bone-headed moves of her own. And that's why DeVore's attempts to brand her as a moderate gain traction. She mostly can't do anything but say, "I am not a witch!" while he exhorts the crowd to see if she floats in water. The more she protests, the guiltier she looks.

Still, the success of DeVore's strategy thus far has him overreaching a bit, as he did yesterday when he sent a press release claiming that Fiorina supported the spendulus.

In fact, she made her opposition to that budget-busting boondoggle crystal clear. He says she can’t decide whether or not “she opposes cap-and-tax.” The week she announced for U.S. Senate, she called the bill a “job killer for small businesses [and] farmers.” Last week, she repeated this description of the legislation on the Kudlow Report, saying she would not vote for the bill.

Look, it’s entirely fair to criticize Carly for the stands she has taken. I, for example, have taken issue with her for voting for Proposition 8. But, the DeVore campaign, in its eagerness to make this a liberal versus conservative race, has made claims about their rival that could be dismissed with a couple of keystrokes. Simply put, they’re not doing their homework.

And while Devore suggests Carly has equivocated on Obamacare, she has said she is “adamantly opposed” to both the House (Pelosi) and Senate (Reid) legislation to overhaul our healthcare system. Indeed, she slammed Barbara Boxer’s vote to open debate on the latter bill, saying that Ma’am “put partisan politics over the interests of the people of California. This $2.5 trillion bill creates a government-run healthcare bureaucracy that will increase taxes and not improve the quality of healthcare for Californians.” That ain’t no equivocation.

Look, 2010 is shaping up to be a good year for Republicans. If it was clearer that DeVore rather than Fiorina could take Barbara Boxer down, I'd support him. But that's not how this race is shaping up. At this point it looks like either of them could do it.

And when you get down to it, I will vote for a dancing monkey with an (R) behind its name before I vote for Barbara Boxer. So I'd like to see better behavior out of DeVore's campaign before I choose him over Fiorina. I'd like to think I can shake a politician's hand without it feeling slimy.

Update: One thing that the DeVore campaign has been very, very good about is outreach. Josh Treviño, the campaign's comm director (who set up my interview with DeVore in September), has responded below. Check it out. Check out the links.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:23 PM

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