David Barton Won’t Primary Cornyn

by Betsy Woodruff

Controversial Evangelical author David Barton just announced that he won’t challenge Senator John Cornyn in the 2014 Texas Senate primary. On Glenn Beck’s radio show this morning, he told Beck’s listeners that, though the primary is “winnable,” the timing isn’t right for him.

“What can I do to talk you into this?” asked Beck, disappointed.

Texas tea-party activists had been hankering for Cornyn to get a primary challenger ever since he removed his name from Mike Lee’s letter urging his Senate colleagues to refuse to support a CR that funded the Affordable Care Act. But finding a candidate with the requisite name recognition, connections, and willingness was a tall order. Enter Barton, former vice chairman of the Texas Republican party, who’s well-connected in the Evangelical movement and has deep ties with the Texas conservative grassroots. Barton is a lightning rod for controversy: The publisher of his most recent book, The Jefferson Lies, pulled it because of concerns over numerous factual inaccuracies. (Beck wrote the foreword for that work and has promised to continue publishing it.)

Barton told Beck’s listeners that he had done polling to investigate his odds in the race, and believed it would have been easy for him to raise the first $3 to 4 million.

“Has Louie ruled it out?” Beck asked, hoping Representative Louie Gohmert would challenge the senator. The Texas congressman did reject the idea in July, and it’s ultimately unlikely Cornyn will get a competitive primary challenger.