How the NRCC tried to pull a ‘Mark Sanford’ on David Jolly

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POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt looks at the uncanny similarities between the way national Republicans criticized David Jolly and now-Rep. Mark Sanford before their respective special-election victories:

“Sanford and Jolly would be making the trek to Washington after having been pilloried by anonymous party operatives who, they thought, were on their side. Nevertheless, it’s not in either pol’s self-interest to dwell on the campaign: There is more to gain – in potential committee assignments, or help from the party in future campaigns – by getting along with GOP higher-ups. The clashes are striking because national Republicans rarely openly criticize their own candidates, especially so soon before consequential elections. But national Republicans increasingly feel the need to adopt a get-tough approach. Nearly six years removed from the presidency and often under assault from outside-the-Beltway conservatives, establishment GOP figures are searching out new ways to exert influence over unruly candidates. Cross them, and there’s a good chance the candidate won’t like what results.” 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.