April 14, 2020
Cornyn Cash Pitch Reads Like Wartime Espionage Tale
that Shines Light on Clandestine Enemy Plot in Works
By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor
U.S. Senator John Cornyn sought to steal some of the coronavirus thunder on Monday when he sounded the alarms on an unprecedented assault that he has reason to believe Democrats are secretly planning to stage in an attempt to torpedo President Donald Trump and himself in the top two battles on the Texas ballot this fall.
Cornyn warned potential donors in an electronic call to arms this afternoon that he'd received intelligence for several days about "historic attacks" that the Democrats appear to be on the verge of launching "any day now" with record sums of money that will be flooding the Texas political battlefield from sources outside the state.
Cornyn elaborated in a follow-up email three hours later - acknowledging that the information that his camp had gathered on the enemy offensive had stemmed from "whispers that something big is going on" at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin.
"I’m not sure what it exactly is, but I can tell you one thing: it’s going to cause us a major headache," Cornyn predicted. "While I can’t exactly put my finger on it yet, I can tell that Texas has never seen anything like what is coming."
Cornyn said that he had "just learned" that the Democrats in Texas are going to be bankrolled by "national leftist groups" that will be pumping millions of dollars into the blitzkrieg that the veteran lawmaker's team has discovered and is exposing now in hopes of building an eleventh-hour defensive.
Cornyn suggested that his campaign had uncovered the motivations behind the monumental political assassination operation. "They want to smear us, drive us out, and flip Texas blue," the veteran lawmaker revealed.
Cornyn won't know who his Democratic opponent in November will be until July when MJ Hegar of Round Rock and State Senator Royce West of Dallas will be squaring off in a primary runoff election that had been set for late May before Governor Greg Abbott postponed it for more than two months as a result of the state's preoccupation with the more pressing concern of COVID-19.
Cornyn didn't mention the pandemic that had claimed 317 lives in Texas by midnight with 14,505 confirmed cases here heading into Tuesday. Cornyn also ignored the specific pair of Democrats who are competing for a shot at him in the general election less than seven months from now.
But Cornyn had tied himself increasingly and inextricably to Trump throughout the past year before the contagion crippled a national and state economy that had been going strong until the imposition of lockdowns in Texas and most other states four weeks ago. The fundraising pitch on Monday was the first time that Cornyn actually packaged himself with Trump in a way that politicians would do if they'd been on track to be the president's running mate in the fall.
As an 18-year Senate veteran who served as the majority whip for four years after a stint as the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, Cornyn has been the most powerful Texan in Washington since Republican George W. Bush's second term in the White House expire more than 11 years ago. Cornyn had been the state attorney general before winning his current post in 2002.
So Cornyn's prospective contributors know that he's known all along that Texas would be a major battleground state in 2020 as a place where Trump has to win to keep his hopes for a second term alive. Cornyn has been warning for more than a year that Democrats at the national level were going to pour more resources than ever into an attempt to derail Trump and take as many down-ballot Republicans down with him as possible.
But Cornyn for all his experience has never been a candidate at a time when the campaigns and elections have been all but forgotten in a state and country that have been shut down as voters focus more staying alive in isolation without a real clue on when life might eventually return to normal.
Cornyn as a result appears to be trying to crack an unofficial moratorium on standard political news by fashioning the latest fundraising appeal like a suspense thriller that keeps the party faithful with money on the edge of their seats.
Cornyn caps it off by taking a page from the legendary former British prime minister and army officer Winston Churchill with a plea for his supporters to refuse to surrender no matter how much the odds might be stacked against them.
"We control how history will remember us," Cornyn declares. " Will we be remembered as those who were easily beaten, without a fight?
"Or will we be remembered as those who fought for our values and NEVER backed down when times got tough?"