Election 2010

Rep. Mike Castle Won't Endorse In Delaware U.S. Senate Race

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Rep. Mike Castle

Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) Matt Slocum/AP Photo hide caption

toggle caption Matt Slocum/AP Photo

I bet I'm not the only one who didn't know that Rep. Mike Castle is a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin?

I learned that trivia nugget from listening to All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel's interview of Castle.

So, in another irony of this election season, just one of many, members of the Tea Party movement, many of whom venerate the Founders, ejected from Congress a Founder's actual descendant.

Maybe if his campaign had promoted his famous lineage more, Castle would now be breezing to a seat in the U.S. Senate as Delaware's new junior senator.

Instead, Castle sat down with Robert and said wouldn't be endorsing either the woman who defeated him with the help of the Tea Party movement, Christine O'Donnell, or Chris Coons, the Democrat.

Both are seeking a full term in the seat once occupied by Vice President Joe Biden with Coons currently holding a large, double-digit lead over O'Donnell who's been hurt by a colorful past.

Castle said:

I have made the decision to stay out of it. I in no way want to harm the Republican candidate for the Senate or the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives. But I have also made the decision in the Senate race at least not to become involved in endorsing.

There were some personal issues and other aspects of my primary campaign that were very disquieting. And for that reason I think (it) best just to leaving it alone.

Robert asked Castle how he would respond to conservatives, including Tea Partiers, who would belittle him as a RINO, a Republican-In-Name-Only.

I would say those individuals do not understand the Republican Party. They don't understand what you have to do in certain parts of the country to get elected. That they tend to single out two to four to five or six votes you might have cast and declare that you're a RINO and don't look at the overall track record.

Later, Castle said something likely to only solidify the view of those conservatives that he's a RINO — he should've directly asked Democrats and independents to vote in the GOP primary.

Obviously we should've focused on it and spent more time educating people. We have a closed primary here. I have a lot of support from Democrats and independents. We probably should've encouraged people to switch their political registrations as well.

Castle also said he saw no place for fiscally conservative but generally moderate politicians like himself in the present-day Republican Party.

My belief is that you're either a red-hot conservative, go by the Constitution, don't spend anything, Republican which is, again, embodied in the Tea Party group if you will or you are a Democrat who's generally portrayed as a big spender..



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