(Elizabeth Crum) – Typed up a few notes during the Chris Comfort (state GOP chair) and Phoebe Sweet (Dem state party communications director) segment on Face to Face last night. (This is not a complete transcript.)
Phoebe Sweet’s first set of comments on Harry Reid’s likely GOP opponents went something like: When you put Senator Reid up against (1) a two-time loser (Tarkanian) or a (2) woman whose husband collected $200K in bonuses while laying off employees (Lowden)…
When Ralston asked Comfort if he is obsessed with Reid and beating Reid, Chris joked: “Constantly. I have a difficult time sleeping at night…”
Ralston joked back re: whether or not Dr. Comfort’s dental patients should be concerned (presumably about his lack of sleep) and Comfort replied: “It’s interesting because the dental patients are giving me ideas. It’s interesting… Because where I work, there are a lot of miners, a lot of self-educated people, and these people understand there is something wrong with this state and with this country, and how disconnected the Democrats are from any known parameter.”
Comfort went on to say that the GOP has “very well known candidates” running for governor and then named them: Montandon, Sandoval, Gibbons. When asked if Gibbons is doing a good job, Comfort said: “The governor is doing a decent job as a conservative in office, and he is holding the line on taxes the best he can, given the hostility of the Democrats…”
Sweet chimed in: “Well, if that’s the only benchmark, I geuss so. But if you take into account his flip-flops…”
Ralston interrupted and said perhaps the Dems should be praying for Gibbons to win the primary because that is the only hope they (Rory) have. He went on to say that based on recent polling, Montandan is known by “no one” and is still beating Rory Reid.
At which point Sweet whipped out that famous old standard: “The only poll that counts is the poll on election day.”
Ralston also read an excerpt from one of Comfort’s recent news release about the voter registration gap which was put out in response to the news that Democrats now have “only” a 63,000-voter lead over the GOP (due to a purging of inactive voters from the rolls):
Looking for proof that our message of common-sense, responsible conservatism is resonating with Nevada voters?
…more and more voters are rejecting the failed policies of the Democrats and are instead embracing the kinds of real, common-sense solutions Republicans are offering. Voters are tired of the reckless spending and unaccountable government that threatens the future of our great state. They are saying: Enough is enough!”
Ralston asked Comfort: “Were you inhaling some of your own laughing gas? The Republican party is hemorrhaging voters…”
Comfort acknowledged the numbers but then said the Dems are losing voters at a 3-to-1 ratio. (They are?) He added that voters “are not flocking to the Republicans…yet…” and then thanked Jon, tongue in cheek, for “getting the message out…that we see so many people being disaffected by the government, people are fed up, and we see a resurgence of common sense values…”
Ralston turned the subject to the Tea Party candidate (Ashjian) and asked Comfort if he wasn’t “terrified” of the votes that could be pulled and that it might throw the November race to Reid.
Comfort said, “No, we’re not petrified at all” and then said he/we (who you calling we?) are calling him “the Tim Geithner candidate…with his tax problems and so forth.” (It was revealed on Ralston’s show last week that Ashjian has a tax lien issue of some sort.)
Shortly after, Ralston asked Sweet if independent voters don’t seem to be turning more to Republican candidates right now. Sweet said, “There’s a move away from both parties” and then said the reduction in Dem voter rolls are “indicative of a change of address, not a way of thinking.” She then pointed out that the GOP doesn’t have much going for it if “all they have to crow about is a 66,000 voter registration gap.”
There were a few more parting comments about Senator Reid, on whom Comfort’s last word was:
“There is technology park on 215 and Durango, near my house, that has sat empty for years. That’s a testament to Harry Reid’s failed leadership…” and then, re: Rory, he added: “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”
(Ms. Crum is editor of the Nevada News Bureau)