Good on Bruce Lisman for finally taking a tough stance in his primary battle with Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. At the VTGOP convention on Saturday, Lisman came equipped with a newly-printed flyer that tied Scott firmly to the coattails of Gov. Peter Shumlin.
It got under Scott’s skin in the best possible way.
“This is D.C. tactics at its worst,” Scott said from the stage Saturday, holding up a copy of the flier before tossing it to the floor. “I gave Bruce a pass when he did opposition research on me… I can’t give him a pass on this. At least he’s showing me his stripes.”
Yeah! How dare he launch an accurate attack on Good Ol’ Phil?
C’mon, now. Phil Scott was a member of the Shumlin cabinet! He was right there in all the meetings, taking his place at all the photo-ops, and generally trying to depict himself as Not Your Typical Republican, a guy who can work constructively with anyone. Well, now it’s coming back to haunt him — from the right wing.
Lisman also went right after Scott on his record of… er… what, exactly?
“He’s had 15 years to make a difference, to make a mark, and I believe he hasn’t,” Lisman said. Scott served as state senator for 10 years and lieutenant governor for more than five.
Also perfectly accurate. Phil Scott has spent his public career as a go-along, get-along guy dedicated to not rocking the boat. Now he’s trying to run as a Change Candidate, and Lisman isn’t letting him get away with it.
For perhaps the first time in his political career, Phil Scott is under attack. And he doesn’t like it.
Well, tough patooties. This is absolutely fair game, and I hope Lisman continues with these lines of attack.
Phil Scott has a winning track record as a politician. But he’s also rarely, if ever, faced a real tough challenge. Maybe he’ll get one from Lisman. It won’t help Lisman win the nomination — these attacks may well backfire with the Republican primary electorate — but it will give Scott a taste of what to expect in a real, bare-knuckles campaign.
If he can’t take the heat, he knows where the kitchen door is.