ABC News' Amy Walter and Cullen Dirner report:
It's not just the pundits who were surprised by Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R) poor showing last night.
On today's ‘Top Line,’ DNC Communication Director Brad Woodhouse couldn't name his party's nominee in Alaska, “His name is not Lisa Murkowski,” said Woodhouse (it's Scott McAdams, BTW).
Meanwhile, RNC spokesman Doug Heye defended potential nominee Joe Miller's statement (made on Top Line July 19th) that unemployment benefits are not “constitutionally authorized.”
When asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl if he embraces Miller's view on unemployment, Heye pulled no punches.
"We embrace whatever any candidate needs to do to win," and that the RNC "look[s] for candidates who can win,” he said.
Woodhouse seized on Heye’s admission.
“If Republicans will say whatever they need to do to win, I think we might be in better shape than people think,” said Woodhouse. And he pointed to the number of establishment Republicans who have lost in primaries to insurgent Tea Party-backed candidates.
“Republicans did not want Rick Scott in Florida, Republicans did not want Lisa Murkowski to loose and will probably lose in Alaska,” he said.
But Democrats have their own squeeze play in Florida, where newly Independent Governor Charlie Crist is thought to have the best shot at defeating Republican Marco Rubio. Democrat Kendrick Meek, who polls worse than Crist, is his party’s nominee.
When ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Woodhouse to say something “negative” about Charlie Crist, Woodhouse told ABC News, “the fact of the matter is Charlie Crist is a Republican.”
Surprises were all around on ‘Top Line’ and the Tuesday night primaries.
- Amy Walter and Cullen Dirner