Washington, D.C. — Since the Washington Post does not appear to have reporters who understand the basics of campaign finance and campaign spending (and since the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have editors at all) we wanted to send some notes back on Friday’s story – a fascinating tale driven entirely by inaccurate and incomplete information pushed by anonymous DC consultants who are still mad that they didn’t get the contracts they normally get from the NRSC this cycle. There is not a single on-the-record source cited in this story criticizing the NRSC.
In the interest of transparency, we’re making our notes public.
1. Washington Post: “Republican Senate hopefuls are getting crushed on airwaves across the country while their national campaign fund is pulling ads.”
NOPE. The NRSC has spent more than $41 million on TV ads since the beginning of the cycle, compared to $2 million by our counterpart, the DSCC.
2. Washington Post: “In a highly unusual move, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week canceled bookings worth about $10 million, including in the critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona…Still, the cancellations forfeit cheaper prices that came from booking early, and better budgeting could have covered both.”
NOPE. Get better sources who actually understand how ad buying works (or reporters who understand how ad buying works). The NRSC is spending heavily in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona (including new ad buys in all three states on Friday) and will continue to find the most effective and efficient way to spend money.
3. Washington Post: “’The fact that they canceled these reservations was a huge problem — you can’t get them back,’ said one Senate Republican strategist, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. ‘You can’t win elections if you don’t have money to run ads.’”
NOPE. Again, this is just laughably idiotic. Get better sources. I can certainly understand why this source spoke on the condition of anonymity, since if they went on the record, everyone in politics would know how stupid they are.
4. Washington Post: “The NRSC’s retreat came after months of touting record fundraising, topping $173 million so far this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. But the committee has burned through nearly all of it, with the NRSC’s cash on hand dwindling to $28.4 million by the end of June.”
Chairman Scott and NRSC leadership has been very clear since the beginning of the cycle that our strategy has been to spend early. See HERE and HERE. The NRSC went up with its first ads in March of 2021 and the Independent Expenditure arm went up with ads in May of 2022, earlier than ever before. The NRSC has spent more on TV than any other Republican organization at this point in the cycle to counter the record spending by Democrat campaigns and outside groups. The NRSC has also invested significant resources in growing our grassroots donor base, building an Election Day Operation (EDO) in target states across the country and building a Hispanic outreach program for the first time in the history of the NRSC.
5. Washington Post: “As of that month, the committee disclosed spending just $23 million on ads.”
NOPE. Only off by $18 million. Editors could help with that.
6. Washington Post: “more than $12 million to American Express credit card payments, whose ultimate purpose isn’t clear from the filings.”
NOPE. All of this information is itemized on the FEC report, if anyone at the Washington Post bothered to look at that, instead of the summary tables sent to them by disgruntled DC consultants.
7. Washington Post: “$9 million on debt payments.”
YES. This is true. The NRSC paid off $9 million in debt from the previous cycle in the first quarter of 2021, faster than the committee has ever paid off debt before.
8. Washington Post: “The NRSC’s chairman, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, has already taken heat from fellow Republicans for running ads featuring him on camera.”
NOPE. This is completely made up. The NRSC has spent exactly 0 dollars on TV ads featuring Chairman Scott.
9. Washington Post: “Other spending decisions, such as putting about $1 million total into reliably blue Colorado and Washington earlier this month sparked fresh questions after the committee turned around and canceled buys in core battlegrounds.”
We have great candidates in Colorado and Washington who are running excellent campaigns. And Chairman Scott has been clear from the beginning of the cycle that our goal has been to expand the map. We’re doing just that and will continue to.
10. Washington Post: “The NRSC invested heavily in expanding its digital fundraising and building up its database of small-dollar donors.”
YES. This might be the only true sentence in the story. The NRSC has invested heavily in building our grassroots fundraising program and grown our grassroots donor list by nearly 3x. Because of this investment, we are consistently the cycle’s top digital fundraising out of the GOP committees and candidates and this investment will continue to pay dividends for the NRSC and the Republican Party for cycles to come.
11. Washington Post: “The NRSC opted not to pick favorites in this year’s primary contests, a break from the past decade when the committee worked to avoid out-of-the-mainstream nominees who cost the party wins in 2010 and 2012.”
NOPE. This is just patently false. There has been one race in the last decade where the NRSC got involved in an open primary. The NRSC does not get involved in open primaries, nor does the NRCC. This is not a Rick Scott policy. This is an NRSC policy.
12. Washington Post: “After The Washington Post discussed this story with the NRSC on Friday, five Senate campaigns reached out to praise the committee’s help.
‘They are focused on bringing the fight to the Democrats everyday,’ said Gail Gitcho with Herschel Walker’s campaign in Georgia. ‘Whoever says otherwise is nuts.’
Zack Roday with Joe O’Dea’s Senate campaign in Colorado added, ‘The NRSC has been a great partner, everything we’ve asked for.’”
YES. The only people who are quoted ON THE RECORD in this story are the actual campaigns that we’ve been spending tens of millions of dollars to help win and who we work with every day. We’ll take them over anonymous bellyaching from beltway consultants who didn’t get contracts with the NRSC.
Finally, here’s the quote from NRSC Communications Director Chris Hartline that the Washington Post refused to include in their story: “The NRSC files monthly reports with the FEC. I’m happy to print out copies and discuss them with anyone, though I doubt anyone giving anonymous quotes to the Washington Post has the stones to ask us directly. We’ve invested in building our grassroots fundraising program, which has paid dividends this cycle and will benefit the NRSC and the party as a whole for cycles to come. And we’ve been spending early to help our campaigns get their message out and define the Democrats, as Chairman Scott has made clear was our strategy from the beginning. Anyone surprised by that hasn’t been paying attention. We work closely with every one of our campaigns and will continue to do so, instead of getting distracted by DC gossip and BS.”