Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell testified Monday in a contentious custody battle with his estranged wife, entirely refuting her allegations of abuse against herself and their children.
Parnell, who said he "never" got physical with his wife or their three kids, was not subject to cross-examination and will take the stand again Tuesday.
At the same time, Politico reports that Parnell's candidacy is on life support and Donald Trump is eagerly trying to revive it. Trump, who endorsed Parnell before the custody battle turned toxic, announced Friday he would hold a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser for Parnell in January.
It's an obvious effort to shore up a candidacy that is crumbling. Last Friday, Parnell skipped out on a call with donors during which he was expected to field questions about the status of his campaign. As Parnell flounders, some GOP insiders are also questioning his fundraising after he posted a lackluster $1.1 million haul in the third quarter—pretty underwhelming given Trump's endorsement and how crucial the seat is for Senate Republicans' takeover prospects next year.
Pennsylvania Republicans have reportedly keyed in on combat vet and hedge fund executive David McCormick to salvage their prospects for keeping the open seat in GOP hands. McCormick hasn't indicated whether he will run yet, but he would bring to the table business experience, a Bronze Star, a Ph.D. from Princeton, and experience serving as a Treasury official in George W. Bush's administration.
In the meantime, Parnell's ugly custody battle is dominating the headlines, and Senate Republicans are bringing their special brand of spinelessness to the discussion. To date, none of them have proven brave enough to even generically denounce abusive behavior as disqualifying. National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott spent a Monday appearance on CNN dodging a question about whether Parnell was "still the right candidate" for the job.
“We’ll see who comes out of the primary,” Scott said.
Wow, bold. Of course, denouncing abusive behavior would also call into question the Senate GOP's Trump/McConnell-endorsed candidate in Georgia, Herschel Walker, who allegedly made a habit of telling his significant others he wanted to "blow" their brains out.
Senate Republicans are attempting to look neutral while secretly praying Parnell's candidacy implodes so they can move on. Trump is doing everything possible to save his guy because there's no one Trump respects more than someone accused of abusing women.