McClintock Won’t Campaign With Doolittle

Posted June 20, 2008 at 9:33am

Contrary to recent news reports, California 4th district Republican nominee Tom McClintock said late Thursday that he has no plans to campaign with the Congressman he hopes to replace, retiring Rep. John Doolittle (R).

McClintock, a state Senator, said that Doolittle has offered to introduce him to his Republican supporters in the district. But McClintock, emphasizing that he is not in Doolittle’s inner circle, noted that the Congressman actively campaigned for his GOP primary opponent in the 2002 state controller’s race. McClintock said he had no idea where the rumors of him campaigning with Doolittle emanated from.

“I don’t have any plans to meet with Doolittle next week and I don’t have any plans to campaign with Doolittle,” McClintock said by phone from Sacramento.

Fresh off of his June 3 primary victory over former 3rd district Rep. Doug Ose (R), McClintock now has his sights set on retired military officer and former police administrator Charlie Brown (D).

Despite the strong conservative bent of the 4th district, which encompasses the suburbs and foothills just east of Sacramento, Brown lost to Doolittle by just 3 points in 2006. That strong finish was attributed to Doolittle’s ethical baggage, which is credited as well with forcing him to choose retirement over seeking a 10th term.

Some Republicans supporting McClintock expressed dismay this week after published reports said that the state Senator was planning to campaign with Doolittle. Their fear was that associating with Doolittle would tar McClintock’s image and boost Brown in a race that the Republican is widely expected to win.

But McClintock on Thursday insisted otherwise.

Meanwhile, Brown jumped on the reports as proof that McClintock represents “more of the same.”

“John Doolittle’s support of Southern California politician Tom McClintock only shows who represents real change in this race,” Brown said in a statement released by his campaign on Thursday. “Tom McClintock is traveling over 400 miles to campaign with someone who epitomizes the problem in Washington.”

McClintock represents a Southern California legislative district. California has a full-time Legislature, and he has lived full time in suburban Sacramento for the past eight years, though not in the 4th district.

Both Doolittle and his wife have been tied to disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Last year, the FBI raided Doolittle’s Virginia home as a part of its investigation. Doolittle also came under fire in the previous cycle for employing his wife as his fundraising consultant — ostensibly enriching himself in the process.

Polls taken earlier this cycle showed that if Doolittle were to run for re-election this year, he would have had a difficult time beating Brown.