GOP candidate plans 'brutal and vicious' campaign against Kaine in Virginia

Republican Senate nominee Corey Stewart said that he plans to a mount a “brutal and vicious” campaign against Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineFinger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police MORE (D-Va.).

In a Monday interview with Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Stewart slammed Kaine, who’s been in office since 2013, for not having a "single major accomplishment." Stewart said the senator has attacked him because of Kaine's lack of a record.

“We have to be very aggressive and brutal and vicious with regard to the truth,” Stewart said.

“I think that I’m going to be very aggressive. I don’t fight like other Republicans. I’m going to be fighting more like Democrats and just being very brutal.”

Earlier this month, Stewart eked out a slim victory over a more moderate GOP challenger, state Del. Nick Freitas. Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, has been a fervent defender of Confederate monuments as well as an ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE’s.

Following Stewart’s primary victory, Trump congratulated the Virginia Republican, tweeting that people shouldn’t “underestimate Corey” because he has “a major chance of winning.”

But a few Republican groups have decided not to back the GOP nominee, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Senate GOP’s campaign arm and Americans for Prosperity, a group aligned with the network of GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch.

"We have a big map, right now we are focused on Florida, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana. I don’t see Virginia in it," NRSC Chairman Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate MORE (R-Colo.) told CNN following the primary.

When asked by “Rising” co-host Krystal Ball if he hopes to get support from Republican leadership, Stewart noted that he's been critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Ernst: Renaming Confederate bases is the 'right thing to do' despite 'heck' from GOP Advocacy groups pressure Senate to reconvene and boost election funding MORE (R-Ky.), but would welcome any resources.

“Well I didn’t have a lot of kind things to say about Mitch McConnell. That said I’d love to have their financial support,” Stewart said.

“At the end of the day, the [NRSC] essentially is just another super PAC. In today’s campaigns of super PAC and today’s world, I can make up for that loss of not having their support with some big donors from across the country.”

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has remained mum about whether it will back Stewart. The RNC is essentially the political arm of the White House and has previously stood behind the president’s endorsements this cycle.

Kaine is heavily favored in his reelection race in the blue-leaning state. Clinton won Virginia by more than 5 points in 2016—a bigger margin of victory than former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHow Trump can get his mojo back Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Democrats see convention as chance to underscore COVID-19 message MORE. And a recent poll from Roanoke College found Kaine ahead of Stewart by 11 points.

— Lisa Hagen