Ensign Reiterates Campaign Pledge to Reid

Posted November 19, 2008 at 1:26pm

Outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) said Wednesday that while he will actively support the eventual challenger to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2010, he will stick to the two Nevadans’ agreement to avoid direct criticism of each other.

“I have stated a million times, he supports the Democratic nominee against me, I support the Republican nominee against him. What we don’t do is we don’t say anything negative about each other. … I will campaign for his opponent, just like he’ll campaign for my opponent,” Ensign said.

Ensign also said that given the political dynamics of the state, Reid can expect a vigorous challenge.

The Nevada Republican recalled that when he ran against Reid in 1998, the Democrat’s disapproval rating never went higher than 38 percent. Today he said public polling shows Reid with significantly higher negative numbers.

“If I was looking at that race, I would say that’s an attractive race to run,” he noted.

But Ensign also acknowledged that much work needs to be done rebuilding the state GOP party.

“We have a lot of work to do in my state, and in all the Mountain states.”