From NBC's Mark Murray
With Dino Rossi (R) jumping into the race in Washington state to challenge Sen. Patty Murray (D), it's clear the National Republican Senatorial Committee has learned its lesson after initially backing Charlie Crist in Florida's Senate race.
Rossi is certainly the NRSC's preferred candidate, but this statement from the committee suggests it's willing to wait until the Aug. 17 primary, which will also feature former Washington Redskins tight-end Clint Didier (who was endorsed by Sarah Palin) and former state party chairman Don Benton.
No matter who the voters ultimately select as their Republican nominee in August, we are confident that Washingtonians will hold Patty Murray accountable for her long record fighting for higher taxes and out-of-control spending during her 18 years in D.C. Unfortunately, this former mom in tennis shoes has simply lost touch with her constituents during her nearly two decades in the Senate.
As NRSC Chairman John Cornyn told reporters last week, "In this political environment, it is not necessarily helpful for candidates running in the states to have the national party chairman endorse them.... More than any time I have seen in the recent past, instead of a Contract for America, voters want a contract from America. They want to be listened to, not lectured to, and not to have their choices made for them."