Bad Blood

Rep. Mike Castle will not endorse in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race:

Nine-term Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, who lost his state’s Senate GOP primary, said Wednesday that he won’t endorse a candidate in the general election.

Castle, who is a centrist, stunningly lost to Tea Party-backed candidate Christine O’Donnell in a bitter, hard-fought race. The congressman and former governor said last month that he would not endorse O’Donnell, raising speculation that he could back Democratic nominee Chris Coons.

“No, I’m not going to endorse anybody in that particular race, not because of the competence of any of the candidates, but because the primary I went through was very nasty in a variety of ways, both politically and personally, and I’ve just declined to get involved in that,” Castle told CNN’s John King in an interview to air Wednesday evening.

Castle’s announcement comes just before Coons and O’Donnell are scheduled to square off in a nationally televised debate Wednesday evening on CNN.

Castle credits the Tea Party Express for O’Donnell’s primary upset:

“I will give credit to the Tea Party Express people who backed Christine O’Donnell. They’re good politicians,” he said. “Anyone who says they’re not politicians doesn’t know what they’re talking about as far as I’m concerned. They did an effective job of winning the race for her and, you know, they’re probably going to be very effective in setting up the last few weeks of the general election as well, if I had to guess.”

O’Donnell spoke with NRO about Castle’s hesitation to endorse her last month. More about the TPE’s Delaware strategy here.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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