NRSC Takes Lieberman

It’s no coincidence that a purposeful silence has replaced the well-publicized calls from Republicans last month for no-hope GOP Senate candidate Alan Schlesinger to make way for someone more credible.

The state and national party, it seems, have concluded that they can’t succeed in Connecticut this year under any circumstance, and would rather see Joe Lieberman win — which polls show he’s likely to do, absent a credible Republican candidate – than risk handing the election to Democrat Ned Lamont.

This morning, a source at the National Republican Senatorial Committee confirmed in a phone interview that the party will not help Schlesinger or any other potential Republican candidate in Connecticut, and it now favors a Lieberman victory in November.

“We did a poll and there is no way any Republican we put out there can win, so we are just going to leave that one alone,” said the NRSC source.

Instead, the NRSC is pulling for Lieberman over Ned Lamont, who rode an anti-war message to a victory in the Aug 8 primary.

“Most Republicans would agree that he’d clearly be a better choice than Lamont,” said the source.

–Jason Horowitz

UPDATE: An NRSC spokesman just called to make clear the distinction between actively and openly supporting Lieberman, which they’re not doing, and merely opting not to support a Republican in Connecticut.

“The NRSC is not supporting Lieberman,” said Brian Nick, a spokesman for the NRSC. “He is a Democrat who votes 90 percent of the time with the Democrats. The race isn’t competitive at this point — our resources will be used elsewhere.”