Ellmers slams NRCC after committee declines to help with legal costs

Republican Renee Ellmers, who will likely face a recount in her bid to unseat Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), appealed for help Thursday from the National Republican Congressional Committee. 

The NRCC declined and Ellmers isn't happy about it.  

The Republican said she asked the committee for help covering the costs related to a looming recount — Ellmers leads Etheridge by some 1,600 votes and earlier this week the incumbent signaled his intention to request a recount. 

After elections officials discovered a counting error in one of the state's counties, the Republican's lead over Etheridge shrunk. The difference between the two is now less than 1 percent of the vote, enabling Etheridge to ask for a recount. 

In a message to supporters Thursday, Ellmers said she has hired a total of 11 attorneys — one to monitor proceedings in each of the state's counties — and another "to work with the North Carolina State Board of Elections."  

"Months ago, I went to Washington and asked the National Republican Congressional Committee and many conservative leaders to help my campaign," Ellmers said in the statement. "Many conservative groups, like the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women of America, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin’s Sarah PAC all helped, but the NRCC declined."

She continued: "Later, they did support other campaigns in North Carolina — which, unfortunately, lost — but we never received their support. In fact, their spokesman told the press "that the campaign wasn’t ready for prime time," which actually made it even harder for us to raise money. So, I am doubtful we will get support from the NRCC to help with the expense of the recount." 

The committee said it has offered its assistance to all campaigns facing recounts, but has advised them to initiate their own recount funds to raise money. 

The tension with the NRCC harkens back to a comment made earlier in the cycle by Ellmers consultant Carter Wrenn, who told a reporter that the committee knew who was behind a videotaped confrontation with Etheridge that made the rounds on YouTube and first vaulted the race to national attention. 

According to a New York Times story published Thursday, Republican operatives have now admitted that they were behind the taped confrontation with Etheridge.

On Thursday, Wrenn told the North Carolina News Observer, "You don't mislead the press. It's silly."

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