Former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) lost his seat in Congress in 2008 to Democrat Jim Himes when Obama got voted into the White House.
When Shays ran for an U.S. Senate seat in 2012, he was beat in a GOP primary by former WWE CEO Linda McMahon.
According to Business Week, McMahon’s campaign spent $1,496,960 to air 1,587 TV commercials, but Shays' campaign aired none. However, McMahon went on to lose to then-Rep. Chris Murphy (D) in the general election.
Shays was one of the few moderates in the Republican Party and is not shy about blaming the far right wing Tea Party and his own party.
In a recent interview with Salon.com, Shays described the Tea Party as "a lot of inexperienced people who say they value the Constitution and almost worship it... and that we shouldn’t compromise."
"And they don’t realize the Constitution was the best example of compromise, and the most extensive use of compromise in the history of our country," added Shays. "And so there is some tremendous irony."
When asked about the Senate passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), Shays recalled, "I asked a Republican who became a senator in the 2010 election, 'How do you like being in the Senate?' He said, 'I love it. I can kill anything.' That’s not democracy."
"I co-sponsored that [ENDA] bill almost the day I was elected," added Shays. "I was the chief Republican sponsor of the bill, and it’s a no-brainer: You don’t discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation."
Shays also recalled his primary defeat to McMahon, who spent a total of $15 million compared to his $1.9 million.
"And the lesson there is that she was somewhat of a celebrity," stated Shays. "I mean, she was on TV and so on, so I mean, I learned a lesson that I didn’t like. What I observed was that Republicans love people who have money. And the good side of this is, well, it shows that they live, in many cases live, the American dream, and they appreciate that. But they didn’t seem to care how her money was made."