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Sunday, May 9, 2010
GOP Eat Their Own - Bennett Goes Down
Bennett's failed to make it into Utah's GOP primary, let alone win his party's nomination.
"The political atmosphere obviously has been toxic, and it's very clear that some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic environment," Bennett told reporters, choking back tears.
Bennett's endorsements by the National Rifle Association and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, did little to stave off anger toward the Washington establishment from delegates.
Bennett was under fire for voting to bail out Wall Street, co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill mandating health insurance coverage and for aggressively pursuing earmarks. He tried to reassure delegates Saturday, before any voting, that he is a fiscal conservative.
"I have authored bills to rein in the entitlement spending that now makes up two-thirds of the federal budget," Bennett said. "I've already voted for a balanced budget amendment three times, and I will again while making certain that it won't be turned into a tax increase for Democrats. Our tax burden is already too high."
Other GOP candidates likely were eyeing Saturday's results to see if it's an indicator of things to come.
In Arizona, Sen. John McCain is in a tough primary fight against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, a conservative talk-radio host. In Kentucky, Rand Paul, the son of libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, is gaining momentum in his challenge against the GOP establishment's pick of Secretary of State Trey Grayson to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning.
In New Hampshire, former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is battling three Republican challengers to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Judd Gregg.