National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) will skip the biennial jousting between the chairmen of the NRCC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the National Press Club by sending Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) in his stead on Friday.
Davis and DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) are scheduled to speak together at the club Friday at lunchtime.
Davis chaired the NRCC in the 2000 and 2002 cycles when Republicans made significant gains. This year, Republicans are projected to lose seats for the second straight cycle.
The press club traditionally hosts the two committee chairmen at a luncheon held a few weeks before Election Day. But this year, NRCC spokeswoman Karen Hanretty said Coles time would be put to better use on the road. He is going to be campaigning in his district on Friday and then touring the country for the next several days.
We figured at this point in the game, its a lot more useful for the chairman of the NRCC to be out raising money campaigning for our candidates than holding a roundtable with the DCCCs chairman for people inside the Beltway, Hanretty said.