Republican Rep. Scott Taylor of Virginia said Thursday that the GOP nominee for Senate in his state has “zero shot” of defeating Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine based on the campaign he is running.
Taylor said in an interview on the John Fredericks Show that Corey Stewart had not called to ask if he’d campaign with him yet but that “there’s no way in hell” Stewart could win without altering his message.
“He’s not called me yet,” Taylor said. “You know, we’ll see. Clearly there are some things that I don’t agree with him on and, in terms of how he campaigns, there’s no way in hell you’re going to be able to put forth a winning campaign without a different message. There’s just no question about that. You know, that’s just the reality. So we’ll see. We’ll see. But I respect the will of the voters and Republican folks who put him there.”
He added, “Zero shot in the way the campaign was run in the primary to win the general.”
Taylor has previously struggled to answer questions about whether he would support Stewart, whose opposition to the removal of Confederate monuments in Virginia has sparked controversy both in his current race and in his failed campaign for the Republican nomination for governor last year. Taylor told CNN’s John Berman in June that he did not vote for Stewart in the primary and that he hadn’t decided if he would back Stewart in the general election.
In Thursday’s radio interview, Taylor said he had “never campaigned with anyone else,” calling questions of whether he would go around his district with other politicians a tactic of the Democrats.
“I’ve never campaigned with anyone else,” he said. “You know what I mean? Like, ever. And um, this is my eighth election and we run on what we’ve done, what we’re going to do. We’ve never campaigned with anybody else.”
Taylor, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, has in the past tweeted about rallies for other politicians and in August 2017 posted a picture of himself knocking on doors for other candidates, including Ed Gillespie, then the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia.
Taylor went on to say that he felt Stewart needed to focus more on “kitchen table things, not Confederate statues.”
“In the end, some of them of course, are upset about what happened at the Red Hen and in other places,” Taylor said, referring to the conservative backlash after a Virginia restaurant refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. “But brass tacks, man: people are busy, they’re doing their thing, they’re raising their families, they’re working, they’re trying to get by. Talk about that, talk about, you know, kitchen table things, not Confederate statues. While I agree we shouldn’t tear down history and stuff like that, the reality is what do you think the average person cares about more his job or that? So adjust your message. Get it right to be able to exploit the vulnerabilities where Tim Kaine is weak. Very weak frankly.”