(CNSNews.com) - Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes scored an upset over rival candidate Gary Bauer whose national campaign chairman Charles Jarvis resigned Wednesday and endorsed Forbes for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.
"The establishment Republicans have front-loaded the process so severely this year with caucuses and primaries, it is going to take an immense amount of resources to win" Jarvis told CNSNews.com. "It has to be done very quickly and it has to be done with great cohesion."
Jarvis said a "very rapid deployment of resources has to take place" in order to reasonably challenge Texas Republican Governor George W. Bush who remains the GOP frontrunner. "Only Steve has the capability to pull the financial and talent resources together to get the word out for a Reagan-conservative message."
At the center of Jarvis' decision to jump from Bauer to Forbes is Bush's hesitation to state definitively that he would appoint pro-life Justices to the Supreme Court. "Bush refuses to commit to appointing pro-life Justices," Jarvis said.
Reiterating Bush's stance on the judicial appointment issue, campaign spokesman Scott McClellan told CNSNews.com, "Governor Bush will appoint people to the bench who share his conservative philosophy and have a strict constructionist view of the Constitution."
Bush was asked in March if he would impose a pro-life litmus test before submitting nominations for the Supreme Court. He responded by saying his nominees would be "people who interpret the law as opposed to writing the law. Those are the types I've named to the bench in Texas. They are not judicial activists but judicial scholars"
"We can not afford to have three liberals appointed to the Supreme Court, whether by a Democrat like (Vice President) Al Gore or George W. Bush who cannot find it in himself to say, 'Yes I will appoint pro-life judges.' He just resists that more vehemently more than anything else I've heard him say," Jarvis said.
Jarvis said he expects a conservative coalition to build behind Forbes which he hopes will include "Bauer and the forces around him." As that coalition "consolidates the case" against Bush, "mark my word, you will begin to see the disintegration of the Bush campaign. Its center will be lost."
Forbes said Jarvis has "fought in the pro-family trenches for years. I welcome him aboard. We're going to win the Republican nomination and the presidency by uniting economic and social conservatives and building a new conservative majority."
In a memo to conservative leaders, Jarvis delivered a series of blows to the Bauer campaign saying, "my friend and colleague for 16 years, cannot win." Jarvis added that Forbes is "the only conservative who can win."
"We waged a valiant effort in Iowa. I am very proud of our work. But we must be honest with ourselves. Our efforts, while impressive, were not enough," Jarvis said of Bauer's efforts.
In a statement released today Bauer's Campaign Manager Frank Cannon wished Jarvis well in his new role. "We are sorry that Charlie Jarvis has left our campaign. We appreciate the contribution he has made to our efforts," Jarvis said. "The Bauer campaign is moving forward with great momentum. We hope that Charlie can convince Steve Forbes to debate us on the issues soon."
Jarvis was previously Executive Vice President of Focus on the Family and also served a role in the Reagan Administration. On the Forbes team, he will become a principle advisor on issues and strategy.