Senate Republican leadership made it clear on Tuesday afternoon that the conference will be meeting on Wednesday to decide whether or not Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican who recently lost her GOP primary to Joe Miller and is now running as a write-in candidate, should remain as the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“Senator Murkowski has submitted her resignation by share of the Congress last Friday. There’s also an issue as to whether or not its appropriate for her under the circumstances to continue as ranking member on the energy committee. Both of those issues will be addressed tomorrow afternoon,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.
Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican and Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters that “it’s pretty clear” that Senate Republicans will move to vote Ms. Murkowski out of her leadership position on the energy committee.
“I think it’s the appropriate thing to do. When you choose not to accept the judgement of the primary voters and to run as a write-in and not be the Republican nominee, it has consequences,” he said.
When I asked Mr. Cornyn if the NRSC planned on aggressive campaign tactics against Senator Murkoski, he responded:
“We’re going to be supporting Joe Miller, and the history of write-in candidates are not very good, and it’s a real up-hill battle. We’re going to be supporting the Republican nominee in every way we can. I expect he will be the next U.S. Senator. I heard in a recent ad, they misspelled her name…in her own ad.”
Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican slammed Senator Murkowski in a recent fundraising e-mail for Joe Miller calling her a “big-tent hypocrite.”
Senate Republicans are sending Ms. Murkowski quite the message and making her likely final last weeks on Capitol Hill pretty uncomfortable, but it may be too late for the Alaska Republican to make the right choice and the Senate with her dignity still intact.