Reports are surfacing that car dealer Tom Ganley, who was challenging Rob Portman in the Republican primary to be the U.S. Senate candidate, has bailed on that race and will instead challenge second-term Congresswoman Betty Sutton in Ohio’s 13th district, which sprawls from Lorain to Akron.

Ganley is wealthy and has a boatload of money to spend, but he might need a new message. This, for instance, will be singularly difficult to deploy against Sutton:

“The government does not know better than the people how to spend money. The Government does not know better than the people how to distribute charity. The government does not know better than businesses where to invest and what to build. Much of the tax dollars it takes out of our economy, it wastes. It doesn't manage even essential services very well, why should we give it more money to use badly?”

Yes, it’s terrible writing. It’s even worse thinking. It will be interesting to hear what Ganley says when Sutton asks him why, if he has issues with government “distributing charity” or telling businesses “where to invest and what to build,” he was at the head of the welfare line with his hand out. Sutton’s crowning achievement in her three years in Congress was authoring last year’s Cash for Clunkers legislation, which flooded car dealers — like Ganley — with money that shored up their businesses in a difficult economic climate. I’ve been unable to find evidence that Ganley’s Ford dealerships rejected customers buying a car from him with Cash for Clunkers money, or that Ganley was so ashamed of accepting government charity that he gave his windfall to the poor.

We’ll see if he wants to be tagged the biggest hypocrite in politics by continuing to flog this message against the woman who signed his welfare check, or if he’ll do some fancy footwork and switch back to the good old God, guns and gays narrative. — Anastasia Pantsios

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