Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie Announces Virginia Senate Run

It looks like we won't be getting former RNC Chair and Romney adviser Ed Gillespie off of our airways anytime soon, because he just threw his hat in the ring to run in the Republican primary for Senate in Virginia: Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie Makes Senate Campaign Official:

Ed Gillespie formally jumped into the Republican primary to defeat Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Thursday, unveiling his candidacy with a new campaign website and video.

In the video, the former Republican National Committee Chairman touts his family's history immigrating to the United States from Ireland. Prior to announcing his run, Gillespie's old consulting website was interestingly scrubbed of clips featuring his support for comprehensive immigration reform.

"My father came to this country from Ireland because his father found work as a janitor here," Gillespie said in the video. "My parents never went to college but they were two of the smartest people I've ever known and the hardest working."

"I'm running for Senate because the American dream is being undermined by policies that move us away from constitutional principles of limited government and personal liberty," he added.

He goes on to say that he and his wife "have raised our family near historic Mt. Vernon. And if our nation doesn't change our course our children, yours, and theirs will not enjoy the prosperity of previous generations."

Gillespie adds that his platform will focus on policies "that will grow the middle class" and allow people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Sure it will pal. Just like your party's platform has for decades now, right? Go read the rest of their post for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's response to the add.

We've covered Gillespie here at C&L for years on end now if anyone needs a little trip down memory lane on some of the things that have come out of this guy's mouth.

Think Progress has more on Gillespie's announcement here: Meet Ed Gillespie: The Ex-Bush Operative And Former Tobacco Lobbyist Running For Senate:


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Former Washington lobbyist and long-time Republican political operative Ed Gillespie kicks off his campaign Thursday for U.S. Senate in Virginia. If nominated by his party, he would face incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who defeated fellow former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) by a 65 to 34 landslide in 2008.

A ThinkProgress review of Gillespie’s long career as a registered lobbyist, House Republican leadership aide, Republican National Committee, Republican State Leadership Committee, and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman, America Crossroads co-founder, and George W. Bush adviser reveals that he has taken a number of controversial and contradictory positions and actions:

Lobbied for controversial industries

As a lobbyist in the 1990s with Policy Impact Communications and Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Gillespie represented the tobacco industry in its fight for a settlement that would give companies immunity from civil liability. After he co-founded Quinn Gillespie in 2000, his firm received $700,000 to lobby on behalf of Enron on issues including the California energy crisis it helped cause. Gillespie’s access in the Bush administration helped the company push for favorable energy policies and tax breaks, before the company’s epic collapse. He has also lobbied for the American Petroleum Industry in support of a 2005 pro-industry energy bill, the American Financial Services Association in support of the 1999 Bankruptcy Reform Act which some say helped spur the 2009 economic meltdown, and the Artisan Farmers Association — the trade association for the foie gras industry — opposing “animal welfare” regulations that would restrict force-feeding of ducks and geese.

Go read the rest for more on Gillespie, and here are the topics they go into more detail on:

Supported an individual health care mandate — then opposed it

Enthusiastically backed the Iraq War based on false premises

Advocated for Bush’s Social Security privatization scheme

Criticized unregulated outside political groups — then co-founded Crossroads GPS

Embraced anti-LGBT and abstinence-only policies

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