The PJ Tatler

Hutchison: Texas Voters Will Back Guy Texans Support, Not Outside Groups

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) dismissed the moderate-conservative labeling that has characterized the Republican primary campaign to fill her Senate seat.

Bob Schieffer asked the senator on CBS’ “Face the Nation” this morning whether “moderate” had become a dirty word as evidenced by the Club for Growth’s ads against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

“Well, I think that ‘conservative’ is not a dirty word. And I think that moderate is a different type of approach to things. I don’t think it’s bad. It’s just labeling people wrongly, I think, is it what’s bad,” she said.

Dewhurst, who has already put $10 million of his own money into the race, faces a July 31 runoff with former state solicitor general Ted Cruz after getting 44.6 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Cruz got 34.2 percent, and former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert got 13.3 percent.

Last week, Hutchison took digs at the outside groups that have poured money into the race. The Club for Growth spent $2.5 million on its ads against Dewhurst.

“I think that the race is going to be very interesting and very vigorous. I think that 45- to 34-ish margin is a lot to overcome. And I think that certainly Mayor Leppert, who came in third, will, you know, may have a role here,” Hutchison said Wednesday on MSNBC.

“I think more so, people are looking at what they want and who is going — who are the people of Texas supporting,” she added. “There was a lot of outside money that came in, outside people like Sarah Palin, but outside money. I think people of Texas are going to start thinking, now who’s going to look out for Texas, because big states have a hard time in the United States Senate.”

On “Face the Nation,” former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said using moderate “as an epithet is — actually undermines our political system and making it work.”

“Now with the tea party, they’re pushing some candidates that are just bad candidates: Sharron Angle last time, and [Christine] O’Donnell,” Gerson said. “There are some good ones, too, you know, Marco Rubio, who is a real star, and others. And so it’s a mixed bag when it comes to the tea party and their influence in these Senate elections.”