Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, exulted in 13 new Republican Senators Wednesday afternoon and denied that the committee could have done more to win Senate races in Colorado, Nevada and Washington.
“To me, the most amazing thing about the last two years is where we started after the devastating election of 2008 when people said the Republican party is no longer a national party and most of the pundits were saying we would possibly even lose seats,” he said on a conference call with reporters.
Cornyn repeated his often-stated belief that the GOP was more likely to win control of the Senate in the next election cycle, not this one. He pointed out that just 10 Republicans and 23 Democrats are up for reelection in 2012, a reflection of the 2006 elections, when Democrats gained control of the Senate.
Cornyn said he was “particularly proud” of the committee’s fundraising prowess just one cycle after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised the GOP committee by $70 million. He didn’t dwell on races where the NRSC invested significantly and lost, pointing out that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also lost races where it invested, and he avoided speculating on races where observers believe the stronger general election candidate lost in the Republican primary.
“I think it’s interesting speculation to talk about who the primary voters have chosen, but our system is one where the primary voters, not people like me, not anybody else, get to choose the nominee,” he said.
He said the NRSC was never likely to give major financial help candidates such as Nevada nominee Sharron Angle, who raised plenty of cash on her own, and Delaware nominee Christine O’Donnell, who polled behind Democrat Chris Coons by double digits since she upset Rep. Mike Castle in the primary.
“We are trying to be good stewards of the money that has been raised from our donors and make sure that we don’t spend money on landslides or races that can’t be won,” he said.
Asked whether he wants members of the Republican conference to support him for the NRSC chairmanship again, Cornyn said he is still focused on the undecided races from this cycle, especially those in Washington and Alaska.
“I haven’t made a decision there, and I haven’t talked to any of my colleagues about that possibility,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.