Attacks on Priebus and Wagner Intensify

To the Republican National Committee’s dismay, anonymous e-mails are attacking two of its candidates for chair, Reince Priebus and Ann Wagner.

This morning, the RNC received an e-mail entitled, “Ann Wagner needs Obama stimulus $$ for a new hairdo! I can help!” The author promises a “Parody for the entertainment of RNC members” and links to two bogus Twitter accounts: Frauline Wagner and Reince Prebius [sic]. The first portrays Wagner as a German soldier. “Ve must schtop Steele! I am der commandant! Der rightful commnandant! Ve must schtop Steele at all costs!” its only tweet reads. The second mocks Priebus for his law firm’s connection to the stimulus act. “News report: stimulus was $2.8T. We got about half that at my law firm,” one entry jokes.

(As an interesting side note, “Reince Prebius” lists Betsy Werronen, the Republican national committeewoman from the District of Columbia, as a follower.)

The author’s address is — as if to imply Priebus himself sent it. But the address appears to be a fake: It misspells Priebus’s name. A request for comment from Priebus’s team wasn’t immediately returned. And despite my nerd friends’ best efforts, we were unable to pinpoint the e-mail’s true origin.

Another e-mail that welcomed itself into my inbox this morning slammed Ann Wagner. “We can’t have a rino, ‘absentee’ chairman,” the subject line reads. The e-mail links to an attack ad on YouTube, which alleges that Wagner took 53 days of vacation when she was ambassador to Luxembourg and that she’s using this race to prepare for an eventual senatorial run.

“It’s just beneath the RNC,” Bill Crocker, the committeeman from Texas, tells National Review Online. “The only real race we’ve had in the six years I’ve been on the RNC was two years ago, and I don’t remember seeing this kind of petty, junior-high-school stuff.”

“People who don’t sign what they send lose credibility,” Crocker, a supporter of Saul Anuzis, argues. “If I was for somebody, I would finance this kind of craziness in opposition to make them objects of sympathy.”

UPDATE: John Hancock, a spokesman for Ann Wagner, tells National Review Online the allegation that Wagner was an “absentee ambassador” is “scurrilous and uninformed.” “Ambassadors are required to file an out-of-country clearance cable every time they leave the country,” Hancock explains. “Luxembourg is the size of Rhode Island, and if she were going to a meeting in Brussels or to visit our troops or to have a meeting with a mayor in Germany, she would have to file an out-of-country clearance cable. Ambassadors are ambassadors 24/7.”

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