Tisei pointed out that he shares another joint fundraising committee — the Equality Leadership Fund —with Carl DeMaio, a gay Republican from San Diego. He said his teaming with Guinta reflected his intention to work with “as many different people as I can,” and fit his overall message of inclusiveness.
“I’m not going to have a litmus test and say ... the only people who I can work with are the people who agree with me on every single issue,” he said. “The problem with Washington D.C. right now is that people aren’t willing to work with people who they don’t see eye to eye with.”
Fundraising itself is a hot issue with Tisei right now. Whereas he led the pack of candidates seeking Tierney’s seat in numbers for the final quarter of 2013, he slid to a distant third place last quarter, during which even Democrat Seth Moulton, ostensibly a longshot contender, outraised him by more than 55 percent.
Democrats were quick to pounce on Tisei for teaming up with Guinta this week, including Tierney, who faulted him for joining forces with an “anti-equality, anti-choice Tea Partier in an effort to raise national Republican money for his campaign.”
“It’s a little over six months until election day and Richard is already selling out to the most extreme wing of the Republican Party,” Tierney said in a statement.
In explaining his decision to skip the convention in Boston last month, Tisei told The Salem News that he opposed the state party’s recently-approved anti-gay marriage platform, and thought the party itself had to alter its stances in order to attract more voters.
“I think that that the party is taking us in a direction backwards rather than going forward, by including language in the platform that limits people’s freedoms,” he said. “My philosophy is the government should get off your back, out of your wallet and out of your bedroom.”
Both Tisei and Innis have been endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a non-party committee supporting “qualified, committed openly LGBT candidates who can win at the ballot box,” according to its website.