What’s your definition of news?
Is it information that’s 2 1/2 months old?
Today, several news outlets reported that Dan Coats had secured the endorsement of US Representative Mike Pence.
News outlets such as Fort Wayne's Indiana's NewsCenter in a story titled "A Big Day for Candidate Endorsements":
6th District Indiana Congressman Mike Pence has come out in support of Dan Coats.
Pence says Coat's integrity and conservative record make him the best candidate for the job.
News outlets such as the National Journal's Hotline. Here's Hotline OnCall's Sean Sullivan:
To help rebut those charges, Coats today landed the endorsement of Rep.Mike Pence (R-IN).
However, as Mr. Brown and the Congressional Quarterly's CQPolitics The Eye's Greg Giroux point out, Mr. Pence came out for Dan Coats in February.
Here's Mr. Brown again:
In a five-candidate race, Coats is considered a slight favorite in the May 4th Indiana Republican primary for the US Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh. After Tuesday night's televised GOP Senate debate, Coats told reporters he had an announcement to make, before taking questions.
[ ... ]
The endorsement announcement was bigger than anything that happened in the debate. Congressman Mike Pence is very influential among Indiana Republicans. In the minds of many Hooiser GOP'ers only Governor Mitch Daniels endorsement would be bigger. (And Daniels in not endorsing. He says he'll back the primary winner.)
Wednesday morning, on Coats' campaign FaceBook page, the status trumpeted the Pence endorsement:
Indiana for Coats - Big News! Congressman Mike Pence has given Dan his unqualified endorsement for the U.S. Senate!
The thing is...Pence's backing was old news. That's how Pence's chief of staff Bill Smith described it when contacted by Fox News.
[ ... ]
Still, there was at least some confusion about Pence's backing of Coats. Some supporters had contacted Pence's offices asking who the Representative liked in the primary. Smith says all who inquired were told the same thing, "Coats".
But it shouldn't have been confusing for people who visit Coats campaign website. On a page titled "What They're Saying" a Pence quote sits atop the list:
Congressman Mike Pence: “His integrity and conservative record would make him the ideal candidate for Hoosiers.” (Congressional Quarterly, 2/3/10)
So, did Coats just plain get it the timing wrong with his post-debate "news" announcement?
Kevin Kellems of the Coats campaign sent an e-mail this morning which reads in part:
"Cong. Pence called Dan after the debate. I don't speak for him, but I believe the reason the Congressman reached out to Dan was to make it clear that his statement of support that came very early on was indeed an endorsement."
So, Coats did have Pence's endorsement all along...even before Coats was officially in the race. And certainly a lot of people missed it (including this reporter). But was Coats post-debate announcement last night "news" as he said?
As we says around here at Fox, "You decide."