In a heated interview with the New Haven Register on Friday, U.S. Senate candidate Chris Shays called his Republican opponent Linda McMahon's campaign strategy "bullshit."
Shays, a veteran of public service who has spent more than 20 years in Congress, broke his moderate persona with the jab. He attacked McMahon's behavior as "clueless," accusing her of being unable to respond to rigorous questioning.
“I think it is like the story of the emperor with no clothes. You have a candidate who is basically giving the finger to all the editorial boards. She is not willing to come before you and respond to all your questions." Shays said, “She is basically saying … and it is a huge distortion to say, she is out there meeting the public and that is the better way to do it -- bullshit."
Shays currently trails McMahon by 29 points, according to the most recent poll from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Polls from the spring showed Shays only trailing by around 9 points.
"Linda McMahon is now the clear frontrunner for the GOP nod, crushing Congressman Christopher Shays by 29 points, after having led Shays by only 9 points back in March. It is hard to see how Shays can overcome such a large lead by primary day, August 14," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.
On Saturday, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. responded to Shay's outburst, calling for Republicans to represent a "united front" and for the loser of each GOP primary to "get behind the nominee for each office." Shays said he would not support McMahon if she wins the Connecticut GOP Primary.
McMahon has spent $60 million of her own money between her failed 2010 race against Democrat Richard Blumenthal and her current campaign.
The winner of the Republican primary will face either Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) or his primary opponent, Susan Bysiewicz, in November. The candidates are vying for the seat of U.S. Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-Conn.) who is retiring this year.
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