The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) will not spend any money in GOP primaries, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said today.
Conservative activists have blasted Cornyn, the NRSC chairman, for officially backing moderate Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) over the more conservative Marco Rubio.
Cornyn said today that the NRSC won't spend any money to back up that endorsement.
"We will not spend any money in contested primaries," he told ABC News.
The announcement comes a day after Republicans lost a Congressional seat in New York after a bruising intra-party battle. The NRCC had spent endorsed moderate Dede Scozzafava and spent almost $1 million on her campaign, only to have her drop out a few days before the election. Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman ended up losing by a few points.
Cornyn went lenghts to downplay the importance of NRSC endorsements, likely hoping his preferred candidates can avoid the kind of resentment Scozzafava faced.
"Endorsements, frankly, are overrated," he said. "They can to some extent be a negative."
Cornyn added that GOP candidates in New Hampshire, California and Colorado had asked the NRSC not to endorse them.