A politician fudge the truth? Say it ain’t so. Nonetheless the record is now pretty clear that Tom Cotton was planning a race for Senate within a month after taking office in Congress in Jan. 2013 though he issued numerous statements then and later meant to dispel the notion he was already running for higher office.

It’s a credibility issue, see. Well, ok, a tiny one.


But this is really scandalous. From the Mark Pryor campaign on his Republican opponent:

Last Saturday, every Democrat and Republican seeking statewide office in Arkansas attended the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival. Except for Rep. Tom Cotton. The annual festival is considered the unofficial kickoff of the Arkansas general election season, but a recent report by The Nation placed Congressman Cotton at an ultra-secret weekend getaway hosted by the Koch Brothers — the out-of-state billionaires spending millions on Cotton’s behalf — where the congressman played golf and rubbed elbows with scores of billionaire donors.

According to an agenda of the summit leaked to The Nation, Cotton was teeing off on the course with a special subgroup of “top-donors” at the getaway literally at the same time that every other candidate in Arkansas was chowing down on tomatoes and mingling with voters in Warren, Arkansas. The festival, held in the heart of Cotton’s congressional district, is easily the biggest and most important event of the year for Bradley County.

Eat Bradley County tomatoes or dine with the Koch posse and vacuum up some of their abundant “lettuce?” Lean, mean Tom Cotton looks more of a lettuce eater than a tomato eater anyway. I think Pryor could have whomped him in the tomato-eating contest.


On the jump are many quotes relevant to Tom Cotton’s disavowal of higher ambitions as a newly minted freshman congressman:

Cotton: “Some People Have Big Plans For My Life They Don’t Always Tell Me What They Are.” “But what about what everyone is saying about Cotton’s future? The freshman congressman is already being mentioned for a potential senate run in 2014 that would put him up against Democratic Senator Mark Pryor in a general election. “Some people have big plans for my life they don’t always tell me what they are,” said Cotton, laughing.” [KATV, 2/28/13]


A Few Months After Winning A House Seat, Boehner “Reportedly Attended A Fundraiser For Cotton In Washington, D.C.” “We just couldn’t squeeze any more out of him about his bright Washington future. Although on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reportedly attended a fundraiser for Cotton in Washington DC.” [KATV, 2/28/13]

Cotton: “I Wouldn’t Say I’m Really Taking A Look At Anything Right Now, Just Because It’s So Early In The Campaign Cycle.” “The 36-year-old freshman lawmaker is widely viewed as the most likely challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor in next year’s election, yet he’s offered few clues on his plans. “I wouldn’t say I’m really taking a look at anything right now, just because it’s so early in the campaign cycle,” Cotton said last week. “I’m just trying to focus on my legislative work here and serving the people of Arkansas.” [Associated Press, 6/8/13]

Cotton Has Had A “Higher Profile Nationally Than Any Of The State’s Other Republicans In Washington” Like Appearances On Meet The Press And Denouncing The Obama Administration On The House Floor. “Despite his reticence, Cotton is enjoying a higher profile nationally than any of the state’s other Republicans in Washington. From appearing on “Meet the Press” to denouncing the Obama administration’s counterterrorism efforts on the House floor, Cotton has taken a series of steps that leave many wondering about his political future.” [Associated Press, 6/8/13]

Cotton: “Have You Seen My Resume?’ I Can’t Commit To Do Anything For More Than Two Years.” According to National Journal, “In an interview with National Journal, Cotton says he has not decided whether he’ll run, but it’s clearly on his mind. “Someone asked me on the campaign trail if I would commit to running again in two years. I said, ‘Have you seen my resume?’ I can’t commit to do anything for more than two years,” Cotton quipped.” [National Journal, 1/25/13]


Cotton: “People Have A Lot Of Plans For Me But Sometimes They Forget To Tell Me About Them.” According to the National Review, “After he makes it to the U.S. House, a lot of people want Tom Cotton to run for the Senate. Or governor. Finally, president. “People have a lot of plans for me,” Cotton says, “but sometimes they forget to tell me about them.” [National Review, 10/25/12]

Cotton: “People Are Talking About 2014 And Years Beyond, I Am Just Trying To Pick Out What Paint I Get.” According to CNN, “Cotton laughs at the suggestion that he is looking ahead. “People have big plans for my life, they just don’t always tell me what they are,” Cotton said, using a line his chief of staff said he would use to answer questions about his boss’ future. “People are talking about 2014 and years beyond, I am just trying to pick out what paint I get.” [CNN, 12/3/12]

“Cotton Said It Will Be Many Months Down The Road Before He’ll Make A Decision About Whether He’ll Run For Re-Election Or Do Something Else.” “As for his future, Cotton said it will be many months down the road before he’ll make a decision about whether he’ll run for re-election or do something else. Even though he’s only been on the job for a month, his name has already been mentioned as possibly running against incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, the only Arkansas Democrat in Congress.” [THV11, 2/15/13]

A Republican Told Max Brantley “The Cotton People Had Already Been In Touch With The Senate Republican Apparatus.” According to Brantley at the Arkansas Times, “A Republican told me last week that he believed Cotton people had already been in touch with the Senate Republican campaign apparatus.” [Arkansas Times, Blog, 8/7/12]

Libertarian Challenger Bobby Tullis Asked Cotton To Promise “Not To Immediately Turn His Attention To Higher Officer But To Keep Working Solely For The People Of The 4th District.”According to Brantley at the Arkansas Times, “Coincidentally, Libertarian 4th District candidate Bobby Tullis asked about the same time for Cotton to promise, if elected, not to immediately turn his attention to higher officer but to keep working solely for the people of the 4th District.” [Arkansas Times, Blog, 8/7/12]

Bobby Tullis Asked Cotton During A Debate “How Many Months He Will Serve Before He Decides To Run Against Sen. Pryor.” According to Arkansas Business, “Tullis, a former state representative, portrayed Cotton as a man who would use the 4th District seat as a stepping stone to the Senate or loftier offices. “I hope Mr. Cotton will educate us on how many months he will serve before he decides to run against Sen. Pryor,” he said, referring to Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.” [Arkansas Business, 10/26/12]

“Cotton Brushed Off Tullis’ Criticism,” Saying “Bobby, Thank You For Conceding The Race To Me.” According to Arkansas Business, “Cotton brushed off Tullis’ criticism. “Bobby, thank you for conceding the race to me. I’m sure than Gene and Josh have something to say about that, though,” said Cotton, who announced his candidacy the day Ross said he wouldn’t run.” [Arkansas Business, 10/26/12]