Simmons: GOP should shed its attachment to self-funders

Former Rep. Rob Simmons is still smarting at what he sees as his being abandoned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in favor of the well-heeled Linda McMahon, Jeremy Jacobs says at the National Journal.

Simmons entered the 2010 U.S. Senate race early, and was highly touted as a candidate who could beat incumbent Chris Dodd. Then McMahon joined the race, Dodd dropped out, and Richard Blumenthal emerged as the Democratic nominee.

At that point, Simmons says, the NRSC “pulled the plug” on his campaign in favor of McMahon, who had pledged to spend $50 million of her own money on the race. She won the GOP nomination, but lost to Blumenthal by double digits.

Now Simmons says he might consider a run for Joe Lieberman’s Senate seat in 2012–but he’s reluctant because of his experience with the NRSC.

“My party needs to decide what it wants to do in the future,” he said. “If it’s convinced that the only people that can win have millions of dollars, I don’t qualify.”