Last week I said the U.S. Senate campaign in Arkansas will involve two themes repeated over and over: (1) From Cotton: Pryor ♥ Obama/ObamaCare, and (2) From Pryor: Cotton ♥ the Tea Party.

Different Day – Same Stuff.

Today, Roll Call was abuzz with the news that Congressman Tom Cotton – along with several Republican House colleagues – had met with Tea Partier-in-Chief Sen. Ted Cruz.  The “secret meeting” took place in the basement of a restaurant, Tortilla Coast, to discuss strategy for the ongoing budget and debt ceiling battle.

Only problem was that Cotton was at the restaurant, but not at the meeting.

Cotton confirmed to me he did eat at the Tortilla Coast Monday night.  He had the chicken quesadillas before heading home to watch the Cardinals play in the NLCS.  He also says that he “didn’t attend a meeting, secret or otherwise.”

Oops. By mid-day Roll Call posted a correction.  They not only were incorrect about Cotton – but two other Republican Congressmen as well.

But after jumping up-and-down last week about Cotton’s ad not being fair, the Pryor campaign decided to go full speed ahead on Tuesday evening with the attack on Cotton for the non-existent meeting in a fundraising email entitled “Secret Dinner.”

“Last night, Sen. Ted Cruz led a closed-door meeting with several House members in the basement of a Washington restaurant. They were allegedly strategizing a way to thwart a bipartisan compromise to end the shutdown,” wrote Pryor campaign manager Jeff Weaver.  “Rep. Tom Cotton happened to be at the same restaurant, but denies he attended the meeting.”

You get it?  It does not matter if Cotton was actually at the meeting. He ate at the same restaurant as Ted Cruz so he must have been in there doing something sinister.

Side note – some great free advertising today for Tortilla Coast. Their menu looks delicious.

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Jason Tolbert is the moderator for his opinion blog, The Tolbert Report. He can be reached by e-mail at Jason@TolbertReport.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TolbertReport.

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