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DSCC: GOP Insiders Embark on the Great Gillespie Makeover

Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 -- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued the following news release:

Lobbyist Ed Gillespie is likely to face numerous Tea Party problems at the nominating convention in Virginia in June, so yesterday some of Gillespie's insider allies hit the panic button and began circling (http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2014/01/13/ed-gillespie-would-be-a-strong-gop-senate-candidate-in-virginia) the wagons (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-why-mark-warner-should-fear-ed-gillespie/2014/01/13/9aa8e5c0-7c55-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html) to give Gillespie a makeover to make him more palatable to Virginia activists who are predisposed to dislike Gillespie and his support for an individual health care mandate, comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and runaway deficit spending under Bush, and one big fat bailout for his buddies on Wall Street.

Here's what part DC insiders are trying to hide from Virginia grassroots Republicans: Ed Gillespie pushed for an individual health care mandate before anyone had heard of Obamacare and was paid more than $300,000 (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/americas-top-business-leaders-and-employers-join-forces-to-advance-healthcare-reform-58015072.html) to lobby for an insurance mandate (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/may/6/20070506-095007-6584r/) on all Americans. Gillespie supports comprehensive immigration report including a path to citizenship (http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/the-gops-immigration-jam-84823.html) for undocumented immigrants, a position detested by many conservative activists. Gillespie led the charge to defend the Bush Administration's reckless and irresponsible spending that amounted to $2 trillion in accumulated deficits and $5 trillion in new debt.

Gillespie was also the point man for the marketing effort of the highly unpopular $700 billionWall Street bailout. Uniting with Karl Rove, Gillespie led a crusade against the Tea Party by co-founding American Crossroads, which has promised to take on the conservative grassroots and only support non-Tea Party candidates.

"DC insiders have begun the great Gillespie makeover to make him palatable to rank and file Republicans in Virginia so that he can survive a divisive nominating convention," said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "We look forward to watching him explain to grassroots Republicans his strong support for health insurance mandates, comprehensive immigration reform, deficit spending, the Wall Street Bailout, and Karl Rove's crusade against Tea Party conservatives. Before even considering a run against Mark Warner, Ed Gillespie has a fight with his right flank."

Businessman Shak Hill and former Navy Officer Howie Lind, both popular with the Tea Party, have already declared their candidacies for the Republican nomination and have expressed confidence (http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/ed-gillespie-mark-warner-virginia-senate-election-2014-102121.html) they can defeat Gillespie in the convention setting.

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