McMorris, a freshman Republican, is being challenged by rancher Peter Goldmark, an Okanogan Democrat who has struck a nerve by criticizing spending cuts that affect veterans.
"It's a closer race than I first imagined," McMorris told Craig before the teleconference was opened to callers.
Instead of being placed on hold and blocked, Camden was placed on mute, so he was able to hear their conversation but unable to tell them he was listening.
Goldmark is "hitting very hard" at her veterans budget votes, and on recent cuts in veterans services, McMorris told Craig. She asked the senator to emphasize the increase in overall veterans funding.
Craig told McMorris that Republicans are hurting across the country.
"The new numbers are just devastating," he said.
McMorris campaign spokeswoman Jill Strait said she did not hear the conversation because she had been placed on hold along with other callers, who heard background music.
She conceded that her boss may have made the statements.
Very telling that the campaign spokeswoman wouldn't even deny it. Goldmark has a shot.
As long as I'm talking about the Washington 5th Congressional District I'll take this moment to piss off my Oregon readership by saying "Way to go Cougs!"