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Didier withholds Rossi endorsement, lists demands

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Aug. 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm with 8 Comments »
August 20, 2010 12:35 pm

By GEORGE TIBBITS
Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE (AP) — Tea party favorite Clint Didier said Friday he won’t endorse fellow Republican Dino Rossi in the Senate race against Patty Murray until Rossi agrees to take strong positions against abortion, taxes and government spending.

Rossi’s campaign promptly replied that he won’t submit to “demands made by anyone, even people with whom he agrees.”

Didier, who was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul, said that while he dearly wants “to send Patty Murray home with her pink slip in her hand,” he couldn’t make a halfhearted endorsement of Rossi and still remain true to supporters who gave him 12 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary.

Didier told a Seattle news conference that he spoke with Rossi Thursday evening, and that Rossi wanted to think about the requirements to take an unequivocal anti-abortion stand, make a no-new-taxes pledge and promise not to increase federal spending.

“I don’t think these are much of a reach for Dino Rossi — in fact, they are part of our party’s platform,” Didier said, adding that, “The ball is in Rossi’s court, and I’m anxious to begin campaigning for him.”

In a statement after Didier’s news conference, Rossi’s campaign said: “Dino will keep working to earn the support of anyone who will work to reduce spending, get the economy back on track, and put Washingtonians back to work.

“He knows Washingtonians are principled and independent and expect their public servants to run on what they believe. “In that spirit, Dino will continue to campaign on the things he believes, and will not submit to a list of demands made by anyone, even people with whom he agrees, in Washington State or Washington, D.C.”

Didier finished in third place in Tuesday’s primary, in which the top two candidates advance. Rossi had 34 percent of the vote in partial returns, while Murray had 46 percent in her attempt for a fourth Senate term.

Didier, a Pasco-area farmer and former tight end for the Washington Redskins, said he understood that withholding his endorsement could weaken Rossi’s chances, but also that Rossi needs Didier’s supporters to win.

“He doesn’t have a chance of winning right now. I’m trying to give him a chance,” Didier said.

During an interview with The Associated Press prior to the primary, Rossi said he’s never run on the abortion issue but as a Roman Catholic, he is morally opposed to it and if he ever has to take a vote on the issue “I will vote my conscience.”

He sidestepped the abortion issue during his two unsuccessful races for governor by conceding that abortion rights were well established in Washington.

Didier said he has received hundreds of messages from his supporters begging him to continue his fight.

Under Washington law, a candidate who loses in a primary cannot launch a write-in bid. However, Didier said he and his supporters plan to form a new organization called Take Back Washington, about which he would share more information in the coming weeks.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. privatevoice says:

    I admire Mr. Rossi’s audacity. The last thing Washington needs is another Palin lackey. We need senators who represent us, raher than the Tea Party or the Republican party. Stick to your guns, Dino!

  2. Seems kinda weird for a guy who got 12% to give the winner advice on how to win.

    PS No football analogies?

  3. Didier sends a message that he wants Murray to remain in office! By trying to coerce Rossi to to do it his way,that tells me he would rather keep Patty in office than support her opponent.I have lost my respect for this candidate and any support for any office he would run for.The so called, Take Back Washington Organization Will be a joke because the citizens of Washington are showing that they are quite happy with the way things are working out now.Go Patty,You Are IN The Drivers Seat!!!Her reelection is now A Sure Thing!

  4. gerry0416 says:

    The only people happy about Didier’s announcement are those in the Murray camp. I hope that Rossi is able to unseat Murray. If not, she will at least be a better Senator than Didier would ever be. We can only hope that this idiotic Tea Party nonsense will eventually go away.

  5. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    I voted for Didier and was proud to do so because his position was quite clear on the issues. Rossi lost my vote because he wasn’t as passionate (had to be begged to run) and because he just doesn’t seem to take a strong stand on anything. Rossi tries to please everyone by devulging as little as possible about his position and opinions. If he were more straight forward and publicly addresses his position he would be faring better with Didier voters.

    I believe a vote should be earned. While I will NEVER vote for Murray, I would consider voting for Rossi if he would just come out and say what he plans on doing about it when he gets into office. Wishy-washy don’t jive with me.

    Rossi: What do you plan to do about the following:

    The current Health Care Plan. Do you agree with it? Want to repeal it?

    Government Spending: HOW do you plan to reign it in?

    New taxes/Raising Existing Taxes: Can you make a promise NOT to raise or create new taxes? Will you cut tax credits?

    Unemployment: What do you think is the best approach to creating new jobs and getting people back to work?

    DETAILS ROSSI…DETAILS. GIVE US A PLAN AND PROMISES WE CAN BELIEVE IN PLEASE.

    I want Rossi to win in November, but I won’t just throw a vote his way unless he really understands what people are struggling with in WA State, can relate a strong stand on these issues and then come up with solutions/ideas on how best to resolve them.

    I am sitting on the fence until Rossi can deliver this…just saying, I will reduce federal spending and big government…” doesn’t cut it for me.

    Win or lose….it’s up to Rossi now. I will abstain from voting at all if necessary.

  6. “If you don’t let ME play Quarterback, I’m gonna take my football and go home!”
    How’s THAT for a football analogy?
    Who could POSSIBLY take Didier seriously (or ANY candidate, for that fact) whose major endorsement is a whack job Alaskan Governor that quit the job before her term ran out so that she can make a few bucks on the public speaking tour? (At least ONE member of the family has a job)
    Patty has done great things for this State and the Nation as our Senator. Thank you to the Tea Partiers (should have stuck with Scotch) and the GOP for making it easier to keep a good Senator in office.

  7. johnearl says:

    Mr. Didier did well as a first time candidate in attracting 1/8 of the voters. But now he wants Mr. Rossi to embrace his approach? That sounds like an invitation into the political wilderness. To win this Senate seat, one must appeal to more than just the Craswell wing of the Republican party.

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