Virtually certain now of McCain's imminent defeat Chris Shays effectively tosses McCain under the bus. In an interview with the Yale Daily News:
NEW CANAAN, Conn. - The first ballot has yet to be tallied, but some Republicans are already hammering nails into the McCain-Palin campaign's coffin.
Locked in a tight congressional race, Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut's 4th district is the latest in a slew of Republican incumbents, including Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, to concede a near-certain victory to the Obama camp.
"I just don't see how [McCain] can win," Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.
Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain's campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain's race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.
"He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign," Shays said.
And for AP :
"He's taken the thing that is most valuable, his (maverick) brand, and he's not staying true to it," Shays said. "I admire John McCain more than you can imagine. He would make a great president."
But, Shays added, "I don't see how he wins if he isn't true to who he is ... a straight shooter talking about the issues."
I suppose this would be surprising coming from the co-chair McCain's Connecticut campaign if it were anyone else but Chris Shays. But right now survival is the name of the game and it's every man for himself.
Connecticut Republicans tried to put on a brave face, at least in public.
Connecticut Republican Party chairman Chris Healy said he didn't think Shays' comments were damaging to McCain's campaign.
"Chris Shays is a loyal Republican, a great asset to the party," Healy said. "Chris Shays always speaks his mind, and that's why people like him. I think part of it is frustration with our message not getting out.
"But like a lot of things about Chris Shays," Healy added, "he says
things that give people something to reflect."
Behind the scenes things were clearly different.
Connecticut conservatives are furious and many are swearing off support for Shays. "I know he always votes the right way when we really need him," said a Republican elected official in Fairfield County, who asked to remain anonymous, "but this is the last straw. He's just so treacherous and hypocritical. We all know McCain is going to lose but does that mean you kick him in the teeth on his way down. Christopher Shays owes Republicans an apology."