Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told GOP congressional hopefuls on Thursday that they should not be afraid to criticize both political parties - including Republican members of the House.
During a conference call, the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman instructed candidates, campaign managers and press secretaries that given the anti-incumbent environment, it could be beneficial for House GOP candidates to distance themselves from politicians they may be serving with next year.
"These [congressional approval] ratings are worse than we had on the eve of losing the majority," Cole said. "Don't be afraid to say you are disappointed in fellow Republicans... don't hesitate to be anti-Washington, D.C."
The NRCC chief discouraged candidates from attending the national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, saying that spending days there would be a "waste of time," and they would be better off campaigning.
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