“Potomac Panic Polka”: GOP’s “Fierce Melee” Escalating into an All-Out Intraparty “Proxy War”

February 18, 2020

Loeffler and Collins’ “nasty GOP fight” kicks into high gear as Washington Republicans panic over a contest that “jeopardized the party’s chances to hold onto two GOP seats”

ATLANTA — While national Republicans are attempting to “suffocate any Republican opposition” to “political mega-donor” and temporary senator Kelly Loeffler, the unelected senator is still struggling to define herself to voters and “willing to spend whatever it takes” to buy herself a Senate seat outright. Meanwhile, top Trump ally Congressman Doug Collins has continued his attacks on Loeffler as a “pretend farmer” amid news that Loeffler doesn’t even have a hunting license in Georgia — just days after posing as a hunter in a new ad

With the Collins campaign now dismissing his own party’s chaos as a “Potomac panic polka” while Washington Republicans slam Collins as a “swamp creature,” it’s becoming clear just how much this “nasty GOP fight” that “left many Republicans stunned” has “jeopardized the party’s chances” in the Peach State.

Read more on the GOP’s intraparty meltdown:

Washington Post: Blacklist, ‘swamp creature’ and ‘Potomac panic polka’: Republicans turn on each other in U.S. Senate race in Georgia

  • A U.S. Senate race in Georgia has turned into a proxy war ensnaring three national Republican committees and top GOP congressional leaders in a battle over whose allies get to work for which candidates.
  • McConnell’s team has tried to suffocate any Republican opposition to Loeffler, part of his long-standing policy to blacklist any political firms that work for candidates challenging a GOP incumbent.
  • Trump’s family and close allies pushed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to appoint Rep. Douglas A. Collins to replace Isakson because, in his role as ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Collins emerged as a fierce defender of the president.
  • What has ensued since is the type of internecine battle that left many Republicans stunned over its intensity.
  • “With this emotional, ill-informed decision, Doug Collins has united conservatives in opposition to his candidacy, and Senator Loeffler has quickly assembled more Republican support in Georgia than Collins ever knew existed,” said NRSC spokesman Jesse Hunt, calling the four-term congressman “a swamp creature.”
  • “Kelly Loeffler and her allies have spent over $8 million on ads and haven’t moved the needle. Georgia voters know that Doug is the president’s foremost defender. They are just not buying Loeffler,” said Dan McLagan, Collins’s campaign spokesman, dubbing it the “Potomac panic polka.”
  • Loeffler, a business executive and co-owner of a WNBA team, is willing to spend whatever it takes to win. Her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Trump’s lack of clarity on the Senate race has probably played a critical role in the final decisions.
  • The Collins campaign is stocking its lineup with other firms and vowing to fight, happy to run as the aggrieved outsider.
  • “The same D.C. establishment political swamp,” Collins tweeted Friday, “that tried to stop President Trump is trying to stop me now!”


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