The Pryor campaign hopes to stir more interest in the unscripted comment by a Tom Cotton campaign staffer to a newspaper reporter that Cotton wasn’t standoffish as some imagined, just “a little on a different intellectual level.” Smarter than the rest of us, in other words.
We recounted this smarty pants remark last week. The aide wasn’t named in The Guardian’s profile of the race, but much attention — and no denial has yet surfaced — focuses on a hired gun brought in from Massachusetts to work in the campaign.
I have to disagree with the Pryor campaign’s comment that this remark is the sign of an undisciplined campaign. Cotton’s rigid message discipline is so pervasive — Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama — that any departure from script seems very big indeed, even off-the-cuff arrogance. I’ve tweeted a bit with the suspect aide. He’s a wise-ass. Big deal. I had a long sitdown with Cotton before he became a candidate a few years ago and before he became unwilling to talk to critics such as myself. He is sure of himself and of his extremely conservative beliefs. There is, as I’ve said many times, ample reason on issues alone — no need for snark, name-calling or anything else — to fear results of Cotton’s idea of good legislating.
PS — Said staffer has one non-admirer in the Republican ranks I discovered.
The Pryor campaign puts it this way, however:
“Rather than leveling with Arkansans about Congressman Cotton’s irresponsible votes in lockstep with his out-of-state billionaire backers, Cotton’s campaign is instead admitting that the Harvard-educated congressman thinks he knows better than Arkansans,” Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey said. “Congressman Cotton’s arrogant and dismissive attitude toward Arkansans is exactly what you’d expect from an ambitious young politician, but folks here don’t need anybody else looking down on our hardworking families, and they certainly don’t appreciate his votes against Arkansas women, seniors and students hoping for the same opportunity he had himself.”
Examples abound of Cotton thinking he knows better than Arkansans. Cotton was the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to vote for the Republican Study Committee Budget, which would cut immediately Medicare and Social Security benefits for seniors, while raising the age to 70 for both programs.
Cotton was also the only member of the Arkansas’ congressional delegation, Democrat or Republican, to vote against the Violence Against Women Act at every opportunity, sending a strong message to women of the state that Cotton isn’t interested in strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.