NRSC Uses McCain in Fundraising Appeal for the First Time

Posted April 25, 2008 at 4:03pm

The National Republican Senatorial Committee today sent out a fundraising appeal that for the first time seeks to link its fortunes with the rising popularity of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

This afternoon NRSC Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) sent out a fundraising letter that not only knocks the Democratic Senate majority for the country’s “skyrocketing” gas prices, but also promotes McCain’s plan to lower fuel costs.

“Thankfully John McCain has offered a plan to help hard working Americans with the rising cost of gas,” Ensign’s fundraising letter states. “But, as they have done before, Senate Democrats who owe their majority to environmental extremists have kept important energy bills bottled up in committees — we can’t afford to let them do this to Sen. McCain’s bill.”

NRSC spokesman Rebecca Fisher said this afternoon that the move by the party committee to parlay the high national interest in the presidential race into fundraising support for Republican Congressional races is only natural.

“John McCain is a rock star in a lot of the states where we have competitive races, and we’re glad to incorporate that celebrity status to help our candidates,” Fisher said.

Earlier this week, the National Republican Congressional Committee released ads in the tight Louisiana special election race that tied the Democratic candidate, state Rep. Don Cazayoux, to the Democratic presidential frontrunner, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). That ad came about two months after the NRSC released an ad likening Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) to Obama’s rival for the presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said Friday that because Republicans have the benefit of having their presidential candidate already selected, they can plan messages between the various Congressional committees and the McCain campaign in a way that the Democrats cannot. And by doing that, they can cut through all the noise that’s out there this election year.

“There are so many messengers out there that have their own messages that they are taking to the voters that we are trying to do what we can to make sure … that we’re all working off of the same guidelines as much as possible,” Bounds said.