Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said some things to talk show host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, and he’d have done Republicans a favor if he’d just followed the old Southernism, If you can’t say something nice…
Alternatively, he could’ve done what President Ronald Reagan suggested and refrained from talking ill about fellow Republicans. As an example, I am exercising great restraint as I write this.
Asked about Erickson’s criticism of McConnell’s conservative creds, our minority leader said this [via The Daily Caller]:
“I don’t even know who Erick Erickson is, but he has no audience as far as I’m concerned.”
For starters, Erickson most definitely has an audience—his morning briefing is read by many, including me, and according to The Washington Post, as of January, 2010, the briefing list comprised approximately 70,000 subscribers daily. I’m sure the list has expanded since then.
I get hundreds of briefings a week. I can’t read all of them, but I make it a point to read Erickson’s. I may not always agree with him, but I always find what he writes interesting and informative.
Aside from that, Erickson’s Red State writings and the annual conference of the same name bring together conservatives of all persuasion from across the nation. The 2011 conference in Charleston drew record attendance—so many that extra rooms had to be opened to accommodate the audience for some speakers.
The 2012 conference is in Jacksonville. That made me happy. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will speak. He’s my top pick for vice president, by the way.
Did I mention Erickson also has a radio show and is a CNN contributor?
Simply put, Erickson is a known brand, and not just within the conservative movement. I cite him often and so do countless others including top national pundits.
I get annoyed when I hear Republicans unnecessarily bash others. A senator should always be prepared to defend his voting record, and if he is in a major leadership position, his policy decisions. We Republicans are not so easily duped as our Democrat brethren. When Republican officials err, we hold them accountable. Enough said.
It is not helpful to alienate anyone who works hard in conservative media. We are sorely outnumbered, outspent and out-infrastructured when it comes to media. I have the expertise in the field to make that statement.
In the scheme of things, I’m sure McConnell would call me a “nobody” too. And maybe dozens of other conservative or Republican writers who work hard and forego contracts from what’s called “mainstream media” simply because we don’t follow the socialist trends our government has embraced for quite some time, even before Obama, although our prez has ramped it up to record levels.
Erickson has helped get a lot of Republicans elected. Among them: Sen. Marco Rubio.
I suspect McConnell may be smarting from Erickson’s early criticism of Republican leadership’s basic anointment of a nominee early in the primary race this year.
I also suspect McConnell knows exactly who Erick Erickson is. At least I hope he knows, because without the thousands of indie journalists and bloggers in the conservative movement, without the Erick Ericksons, Republicans would not have celebrated November, 2010.
Erickson’s response to McConnell (Red State)
Media miss key aspects of Perry’s declaration at Red State Gathering (Examiner/National Conservative)
Red State Gathering 2011, Pt. I (The US Report)
Red State Gathering 2011, Pt. II (The US Report)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/April 26, 2012)