In a bombshell that is shaking up Nevada's closely watched Senate race, the Las Vegas Sun has released an audio recording of GOP nominee Sharron Angle "desperately" trying to persuade a third-party candidate — Tea Party of Nevada's Scott Ashjian — to drop out of the race to help her beat incumbent Sen. Harry Reid. Angle promises to use her newfound political "juice" to get him access to congressional leaders if he helps her win in November. CNN says Ashjian made the tape and leaked it. Is Angle trying to make a shady deal or just playing smart politics? (Watch Scott Ashjian slam Sharron Angle)
Angle has been exposed as a hypocrite: This tape is devastating for Angle, a favorite of many Tea Partiers, because of complaints about Democrats' "back-room deals on Capitol Hill," says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. "Angle may want to drop that from her talking points." She doesn't "explicitly try to buy Ashjian off," but she does promise to trade her future Washington clout for Ashjian's help.
"Angle's back-room talks go public"
Ashjian is the one this hurts: Sharron Angle does not say anything horrible in this recording, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Her complaint that Republicans have "lost their way," for example, is nothing new — she has been saying that the entire campaign. Ashjian, who has admitted he secretly taped the meeting, is the one who looks bad. This dirty trick only reinforces the notion that his "candidacy is inspired by petty malice."
"Ashjian taped Angle conversation, leaked tape to media"
This is typical Washington politics: In one sense, Angle's promises to Ashjian are hardly surprising, says Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. His supporters are Tea Partiers, and many of hers are, too, so she's "merely saying" that if Ashjian helps her win, "she'll function as the Tea Party's voice in Washington." The GOP leadership might "be very ticked off with Angle for putting this so crudely," but it is nothing new in American politics.
"Sharron Angle promises Tea Party candidate 'juice' if he drops out of race"