John Walsh Endorsement “Inappropriate,” “Desperate” say Democratic Primary Candidates
There are three Montana Democrats running for the U.S. Senate, but even though the primary hasn't occurred, the Montana Democratic Party has announced that it is going all-in on John Walsh with an official endorsement.
Walsh's primary competitors John Bohlinger and Dirk Adams described the endorsement as "inappropriate," and "desperate," saying that the move broke with a longstanding tradition in Montana democratic politics.
"Anytime you see folks breaking the rules, you know they're not doing it out of a sense of strength, but out of a sense of fear," said Adams. "I was sorry to see 'em do that, but after the Nate Silver 538 piece that said Walsh can't beat Daines, I think they're really desperate."
Montana Democratic Party spokesman Bryan Watt is quoted by the Associated Press as saying that Walsh was the "only true Democrat" in the race, a statement that drew ire from both challengers.
"I'm offended by that," said Bohlinger. "I don't know how one certifies their credentials as a democrat any more than I've done. In 2004 and 2008 I ran with Brian Schweitzer on the Governor/Lt. Governor ticket as a Democrat. I filed as a democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate."
Bohlinger also trumpeted his "progressive" legislation while he worked as a "moderate Republican" in the state legislature.
Adams has never run as a republican, but ended up in the same net as Bohlinger when Watt pointed to Adams' past donations to republican candidates as a sign that he wasn't a "true" democrat. Adams said that there were three old donations to republicans who were working across the aisle on important community banking issues.
"If they're concerned about the few hundred dollars that I gave to republicans 17 years ago, what about the tens of thousands of dollars that John Walsh has taken from every major polluter in Montana and America, including the Chinese National Petroleum Company. I think the bigger question is 'why is John taking money from the Chinese?'"