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But part of Gingrich’s message to House Republicans Tuesday was that lawmakers can’t count on the coattails of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
“McCain’s lead is a sign of the gap between the McCain brand of independence and the GOP brand,” Gingrich wrote. “No regular Republican would be tying or slightly beating the Democratic candidates in this atmosphere. It is a sign of how much McCain is a non-traditional Republican that he is sustaining his personal popularity despite his party’s collapse.”
Boehner and Cole in making the case of possible GOP successes this fall have been touting how McCain will benefit downballot races.
But the realization that Republicans need more than that is beginning to sink in.
“That’s what I think people are starting to realize here,” said the GOP leadership aide. “He’s not our savior.”
Tory Newmyer contributed to this report.