Tom Campbell argued to Calbuzz on Thursday that his liberal stands on social issues will be rendered moot in the U.S. Senate race because “economic issues have never been more dominant,” making it likely he can win the Republican nomination.
It’s not that social issues aren’t important to California’s staunchly conservative GOP primary voters, said former Silicon Valley Rep. Campbell, who is pro-choice, pro-gay rights and relatively green on the environment. But, he said, “The economic issues eclipse the social issues in the current environment.”
With very conservative credentials on federal fiscal issues from his nine years in Congress, Campbell said he’s also well positioned to raise the $7-10 million he’ll need for a primary campaign against former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Orange County.
Republican friends who wouldn’t give him money for the governor’s race, fearing that he could not financially compete with self-funded multi-millionaires Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, are eager to contribute to his Senate campaign, he said.
He also told us that he has private polling, by Chariot Research, showing him with 31% followed by Fiorina at 15% and DeVore at 12%. (Calbuzz will withhold judgment about the veracity of those numbers until next week’s Field Poll).
Campbell said he won’t run against Fiorina and DeVore – he’ll run against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and the economic issues will help him unite the Republican Party. He noted that he barely lost the GOP nomination in 1992, by 2 percentage points, to Bruce Herschensohn, with the late Sonny Bono, a moderate, drawing 19% of the vote. In 2000, he won his party’s nomination.
If you want to see how Dudley is pitching himself to California’s right-wing, knuckle-dragging conservative primary voters, check out his fiscal tightwad guest post at Red County.)
Campbell had barely concluded his announcement Thursday when Hurricane Carly mouthpiece Julie Soderlund sent out a crisp 800 word memo titled “Not so fast Tom” charging that Campbell “presided over the largest year-over-year increase in state general fund spending to date,” when he was Arnold’s Finance Director, and that his “version of a ‘balanced’ budget includes borrowing and does not include its impact on the state’s structural out-year deficit.”
Welcome to the Senate race Tom. Looks like iCarly wants to smother your nascent campaign in the crib.
Here’s Campbell’s video release: