Dick Morris, a nationally known political commentator and consultant with a home in Redding, today endorsed in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate and rejected Linda McMahon, saying she can't win.
In a video posted to Shays' campaign website, Morris says, "I'm supporting Christopher Shays for United States Senate. He was a congressman for Fairfield County and he’s a tremendous guy. I've known him for more than a decade. A strong, staunch fiscal conservative, he served on the budget committee in the House and worked on forcing a balanced budget."
Morris said Linda McMahon has proven she can't win a general election in Connecticut by losing to Dick Blumenthal in .
"Anybody could have beaten Blumenthal, and certainly somebody who spent $50 million," Morris said in the video. "But McMahon was so radioactive, so unattractive to the voters that she couldn’t do it.
"Well, God bless her, she tried, she carried the banner high and fought like hell and good for her. But now she’s running again in 2012 and she has no more chance to win this time than she had last time. She lost by 12 points last time—she didn’t even come close and if she gets the nomination instead of Shays, the Democrats are going to walk away with that seat."
Morris was a political consultant, most famously, for Bill Clinton when Clinton was president. That relationship ended after a prostitute claimed he was her client. Morris has since written numerous books about politics and is a political commentator.
Shays, who grew up in Darien, served as the U.S. representative for the Fourth District for decades. He now lives in Bridgeport.
Linda McMahon campaign spokeswoman Erin Isaac said the campaign would have no response to political consultant and commentator Dick Morris' endorsement of Chris Shays for U.S. Senate.
"We're focused on what the folks are saying in Connecticut," Isaac said.
Isaac also declined to respond to Morris' statement that McMahon is too weak a candidate to win. in the campaign.
Isaac pointed to a statement released by McMahon's campaign on Thursday morning, announcing the endorsements of 10 vice chairmen of Republican town committees around the state who side with the former Greenwich businesswoman. (A list of endorsements from the morning McMahon news release has been added to the bottom of this article.)
Transcript of Morris' video endorsement
Here's the text of Morris' video endorsement on the Shays campaign website, as provided by the Shays campaign (it makes minor changes in several words—the video itself is also attached to this article):
Hi—I want to have a word with my friends in Connecticut. I'm supporting Christopher Shays for United States Senate. He was a congressman for Fairfield County and he’s a tremendous guy.
I've known him for more than a decade. A strong, staunch fiscal conservative, he served on the budget committee in the House and worked on forcing a balanced budget (I know because I was working with Clinton at the time), and head of a sub committee on homeland security, and put into place many of the protections that are now serving us so well to make sure we don’t get hit again.
But he’s a social moderate and he has a very good chance of picking up the independent vote that’s crucial to being able to win. Now we have a very good chance at that seat.
It's an open seat, and if Romney heads the ticket, and he’s from Massachusetts, he may well carry Connecticut and if we had a good candidate for the Senate we could win that seat—and we may have to win it—it could be the seat that gives us control over the Senate.
Now the front runner for the seat is Linda McMahon—can you believe it, she’s running again? Two years ago she spent $50 million dollars trying to get elected to the Senate against Blumenthal.
Blumenthal was staggering at the time under the allegations that turned out to be true, that he had been a total phony in saying he had served in Vietnam and he had not served in Vietnam, and he kept repeating it and repeating it and the New York Times, of all papers, outed him in a whole series of front page stories.
Anybody could have beaten Blumenthal, and certainly somebody who spent $50 million. But McMahon was so radioactive, so unattractive to the voters that she couldn’t do it.
Well, God bless her, she tried, she carried the banner high and fought like hell and good for her. But now she’s running again in 2012 and she has no more chance to win this time than she had last time. She lost by 12 points last time—she didn’t even come close and if she gets the nomination instead of Shays, the Democrats are going to walk away with that seat.
So please—Shays is not wealthy, he does not have a quadrillion dollars, and he needs your support, he needs your donation, he needs your back up. He is one, and was when he was there, one of the absolutely best members of Congress in either party, so please give him a hand. Thanks for watching.
List of endorsements of Linda McMahon
These vice chairmen of Republican town committees have endorsed Linda McMahon, her campaign announced Wednesday:
Anne Reilly, Berlin
Tami Zawistowski, East Granby
Thomas Fabian, Eastford
Jim Hill, Essex
Diane Neumann, Granby
Carol Teodosio, Hamden
Robert Mitchell, Montville
Tim Murawski, Plymouth
Jack Crumb, Prospect
Marti Stiglich, Rocky Hill
"These 10 vice chairs join a growing list of more than 180 elected and grassroots leaders to endorse McMahon.
"The list includes former Ambassador and gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley; State Reps. Tim Ackert, Dan Carter, Rob Sampson, Tim LeGeyt, Whit Betts, Alfred Adinolfi, Livvy Floren, Anthony D’Amelio, Prasad Srinivasan, Bill Simanski, Clark Chapin, Janice Giegler and Selim Noujaim;
"State Sens. Tony Guglielmo, Len Fasano, John Kissel, Joe Markley, Kevin Witkos, Len Suzio, Rob Kane, Jason Welch and Michael McLachlan;
"First Selectman Peter Tesei and Second Selectman David Theis of Greenwich; Town Council Chairman Chip Beckett of Glastonbury;
"First Selectmen Jayme Stevenson of Darien, Jim Zeoli of Orange, Paul DeStefano of Haddam, Mike Freda of North Haven, Douglas Humes of North Canaan, Bill Rose of Chaplin, Joe Mazza of Guilford, John Adams of Granby, Mertie Terry of Cromwell and Barbara Henry of Roxbury;
"Stamford Mayor Mike Pavia; Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton; Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia; Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham; Trumbull Mayor Tim Herbst; Wethersfield Mayor Donna Hemmann;
"Former State Chairmen of the Connecticut Republican Party Chris Healy, George Gallo, Bill Hamzy, Herb Shepardson, Chris DePino and Dick Foley; National Committeewoman Pat Longo; 24 Republican State Central Committee members; and 76 Republican Town Committee chairs."