Former NRSC communications director takes a shot at Steve Stockman

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Republican Texas Rep. Steve Stockman’s war on the mainstream element of his own party is now being met with return fire.

Stockman is running an underdog campaign in the 2014 Texas Senate primary against GOP incumbent Sen. John Cornyn. His sharp attacks on Cornyn have been indicative of the growing schism between the tea party wing of the party and what Stockman calls the GOP “establishment.”

Party figures are pushing back. Brian Walsh, formerly a Cornyn strategist and the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) under Cornyn’s chairmanship during the 2010 and 2012 cycles, is no Stockman fan. Now a partner at the bipartisan public affairs firm Singer Bonjean Strategies, Walsh made his thoughts on Stockman known.

“It’s just embarrassing,” Walsh tweeted Tuesday in response to an Amanda Terkel Huffington Post piece claiming that Stockman misrepresented his Senate-bid endorsements from the Texas State Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association on his campaign website. A Stockman spokesman pointed out that the website lists Stockman’s endorsements from his last successful House race. The website never technically claimed that the groups endorsed his Senate campaign.

Stockman has recently retweeted messages criticizing the “establishment,” “RINOS,” and Stockman’s “colleagues” who do not hold Obama accountable.

“Ted Cruz. Rand Paul. Now Steve Stockman. John Cornyn only seems to have his knives out for conservative candidates,” Stockman tweeted Tuesday.

Texas Sen. Cruz has declined to endorse Cornyn’s re-election bid, but has also not formally endorsed Stockman, who trails Cornyn by a wide margin in a recent poll.

“Cruz’s ploy, which was ridiculed by many of the party members, was brilliant; he got 5.5 million names, they now know he is a man of principle, so I think it was smart,” Stockman said in October of Cruz’s Defund Obamacare campaign, which galvanized conservatives.

Citing the Alamo, Stockman added, “In every loss, there can be a victory.”

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