What’s the Republican party’s message to Sharron Angle, their freshly minted Senate candidate in Nevada? Get disciplined. Quick.
“When you’re running statewide like this, you know, it is a different level,” Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) told me this afternoon after a policy meeting with the Republican caucus. “And especially to the extent there’s going to be a lot more scrutiny because you’re running against the Majority Leader, so she’s going to have to exercise really severe discipline…. She and her team are going to have to really think about that, and not lose that passion that got her a lot of the grassroots support, but also be a little measured.”
Angle defeated one-time favorite Sue Lowden in the GOP primary last night on a wave of Tea Party support, but was met immediately by a torrent of criticism and a long record of radical statements and policy positions. Democrats couldn’t be more pleased, but her candidacy has Republicans worried.
Ensign, it should be noted, wasn’t entirely pessimistic or critical. In fact, he was at pains to applaud Angle’s primary campaign and said he thinks she can win in November. But her propensity to get herself in trouble isn’t lost on the GOP.
NRSC chair John Cornyn today mentioned Angle’s newcomer status on ABC News, and offered up assistance “to make sure they have all the resources they need to put their best foot forward,” suggesting, perhaps, that Angle may need the pros to come in and help her polish up.
“It’s very easy to make a mistake nowadays, especially because everything is recorded…or video, whatever, it can go up on YouTube.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.