Castle Will Not Endorse O’Donnell For Senate, NRSC Won’t Fund Her Campaign

Let the civil war begin:

A Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) campaign source confirmed to The Hill late Tuesday that the longtime congressman will not be endorsing Christine O’Donnell.

The Tea Party-backed O’Donnell defeated Castle for Delaware’s Republican Senate nomination.

After the stunning primary loss, Castle’s campaign also said the longtime congressman is not interested in waging a write in bid this November.

And the National Republican Senatorial Committee doesn’t plan on sending her any money either:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee does not plan to spend money on its Delaware Senate nominee, Christine O’Donnell, an NRSC official said tonight.

O’Donnell, who defeated Republican stalwart Rep. Mike Castle in the state’s GOP Senate primary, surged in recent weeks amid donations from tea party groups and an endorsement from Sarah Palin. But she trails her general election opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, in most polls.

The official noted that if her position improves, the committee might reconsider its allocation of scarce resources.

When O’Donnell loses in November, expect her supporters to blame the establishment for not rallying behind her.

Update: John Cornyn, the head of the NRSC has seemingly reversed last night’s statement:

Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee’s chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

I reached out to Christine this morning, and as I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support. This support includes a check for $42,000 – the maximum allowable donation that we have provided to all of our nominees – which the NRSC will send to her campaign today.

We remain committed to holding Democrat nominee New Castle County Executive Chris Coons accountable this November, as we inform voters about his record of driving his county to the brink of bankruptcy and supporting his party’s reckless spending policies in Washington.

In the weeks ahead, we will decide where to best allocate additional financial resources among the large number of competitive races at stake this November. While it’s not in Republicans’ interest to advertise our spending strategy to our opponents, it’s worth noting that just yesterday, the NRSC’s first independent expenditure ad aired in support of Dr. Rand Paul’s campaign in Kentucky, where we firmly believe that he will win in November.

So the real question is whether the NRSC will spend any additional resources on this race. My guess, based on the polls, is no.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tim says:

    Since civility is the premium of the apologist Right, it seems they are quite uncivil when they don’t get their way. Hmmm, who woulda thunk it?

  2. Herb says:

    Sounds like O’Donnell’s going to get the Dan Maes treatment.

  3. Steve Plunk says:

    How petty.  I lost so I’m going to cry like a baby.  It’s obvious why many of these Republicans are losing their primaries, they aren’t really Republicans or conservatives.

  4. While understanding the remark about Castle not really being conservative, what exactly does it mean to be “not really a Republican”?  Or is “real Republican” the new “real American”?

  5. Let’s also remember O’Donnell during the campagin repeatedly tried to spread rumors Castle was involved in a gay affair, accused him of hiring people to stalk her, and various other vicious personal attacks that when far beyond political disagreements.  It says something very weird about the “Tea Party” mindset if they think they can do that and then expect the targets to just forget about it once the primary is over.

  6. Any obligation Castle had to be gracious in defeat ended when the O’Donnell campaign started the “gay affair” whisper campaign and when O’Donnell herself said Castle needed to “put on his man pants”

  7. wr says:

    Yes, Castle has to be gracious because O’Donnel is the only real American in the race, and thus anything she does is good and proper and true, while anything he does is evil. This is the Gospel of the Tea Party, and anyone who disagrees hates America.

  8. Brett says:

    This is going to be amusing if/when O’Donnell goes down in November. It’s always amusing to watch the Circular Firing Squad at work in somebody else’s political party.