Snowe airs displeasure with GOP, Cynthia Dill agrees

Maine’s retiring Republican senator, Olympia Snowe, criticized her party for focusing too much on social issues rather than jobs and the economy during an interview that aired Thursday on MSNBC.

During the interview with Chuck Todd, Snowe said the Republican Party “hasn’t expressed the views of being inclusive.” Despite her displeasure with the GOP, Snowe said she never considered switching parties.

Democrat Cynthia Dill released a statement following the interview praising Snowe for sharing her “candid views” about the GOP.

“The GOP cannot accommodate the Tea Party’s extremist views under its Reagan-era ‘big tent’ philosophy. And this has caused the massive dysfunction in Washington,” Dill’s statement reads. “When I see thoughtful Republican senators like Olympia Snowe, who no longer have a place at the table with their own party because their views are too ‘moderate,’ then clearly the national Republican Party has a problem.”

Also from the Dill camp today, former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci issued a fundraising appeal on behalf of the state senator from Cape Elizabeth, and Republicans tried to highlight it as another sign former Gov. Angus King’s lead in the Senate race is in danger.

“President Obama and Democrats in the United States Senate are fighting every day for working people in Maine and around the country. But they need help,” the former two-term governor wrote in the fundraising message. “Their efforts have been blocked – time and time again – by obstructionist Republicans who have made their top priority unseating a Democratic president. State Senator Cynthia Dill can make a difference.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee immediately jumped on the news, trying to press a narrative that former King is losing momentum in the race to replace Snowe.

The NRSC noted in an e-mail blast that the former governor — who briefly considered a run of his own for the Senate seat — isn’t going along with Democrats in Washington, D.C., in supporting King, either openly and implicitly.

The NRSC email also noted the internal poll from Moore Consulting, obtained by fellow BDN bloggers Ethan Strimling and Phil Harriman, that shows King’s numbers slipping from where they were in late June.