MSNBC host Rachel Maddow enjoyed a chuckle on Monday over the news that the Republican establishment was apparently willing to blast its own candidate in a Florida congressional race that had been billed as a “referendum” on the Affordable Care Act.
Over the course of the past week, she said, members of the National Republican Congressional Committee have been trying to throw former lobbyist David Jolly “under a bus that has not yet even arrived,” going to Politico anonymously and complaining about his “inept fundraising” and “Keystone Cops operation,” and going so far as to scold Jolly over the “bad optics” of being a 41-year-old candidate with a 27-year-old girlfriend.
“Republicans in Washington are feeding details like that to the Beltway press about their own candidate?” Maddow asked in surprise. “Dude hasn’t even lost yet. The election isn’t until tomorrow. What happens if he wins?”
Jolly is currently locked in a tight race with former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Raw Story had reported that Republicans came under fire for setting up a fake website made to look like it was soliciting donations for Sink, when in fact it was part of a network of sites suckering people into giving money to GOP candidates. The websites were subsequently revised.
Reuters reported on Sunday that Republicans were basing their strategy on trying to undermine Sink for supporting the health care law, commonly known as “Obamacare,” a strategy that Maddow said could backfire if she wins, since Democrats would be all too happy to call it a bellwether for this year’s midterm elections.
“This time tomorrow, we’ll have results in terms of what happened there,” she said. “But to see the Republicans throwing their own candidate under the bus ahead of even people heading to the polls at 7 a.m tomorrow shows you that they are very worried about this result and they are trying to contain its political implications.”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Monday, below.