Conservative DeMint Group Endorses McConnell Primary Challenger

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Ed Reinke / AP

Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010.

The Senate Conservatives Fund, the outside group founded by former Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, has endorsed Matt Bevin, the Republican challenger running in a primary against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The group has been critical of McConnell’s handling of the budget and debt limit crises and funded $340,000 in attack ads against him in September. This week, the group blamed McConnell for allowing an earmark for a dam project on the Kentucky border into the bill that ended the government shutdown and deb ceiling crises. McConnell, who negotiated the final bill, said he was not directly responsible for inserting the dam funds.

“Matt Bevin is a true conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are destroying our country,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement. “He is not afraid to stand up to the establishment and he will do what it takes to stop Obamacare. We know that winning this primary won’t be easy. Mitch McConnell has the support of the entire Washington establishment and he will do anything to hold on to power. But if people in Kentucky and all across the country rise up and demand something better, we’re confident Matt Bevin can win this race.”

McConnell had largely disappeared from congressional talks on Syria and the budget, until he brokered a deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid to reopen the government and raise the debt limit earlier this week. In recent weeks, McConnell, buoyed by extremely strong fundraising, has indicated he is unconcerned by the primary challenge, turning his sights on top Democratic prospect Alison Lundergan Grimes and the general election.

11 comments
DennisNichols
DennisNichols

I met Matt Bevin in November at a Tea Party session in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. I went specifically to hear him, wondering why a Kentucky candidate would visit my neighborhood. I will attest that, though intelligent and personable, he is barking at the moon. He will not go to the Senate, and he could imperil the Republican national campaign. On the agenda with him were two, count them, two candidates challenging John Boehner for the Republican nomination for Congress. Both were even flakier than Bevin. Both said they can beat Boehner, which is just silly. Were they rational, they at least would team up. Do they think Boehner will finish third? We are confronting dupes and worse.

barneydidit
barneydidit

Someone's going to have to help me out with the Tea Party logic here. They seem to be set on filling Congress and ultimately I assume the White House with "true Conservatives" that are going to slash spending, balance the budget, and overall...get their country back.

Problem is, they have yet to put forward a candidate that has a PLAN to do those things. All their candidates have done so far is rant about what's wrong with the government IE- Obama, Obamacare, moochers, and essentially "the 47% that thinks the government has to take care of them". What they don't present is a budget that includes a working alternative to Obamacare, that cuts government spending where it really makes a difference (not just Big Bird), and yet still provides temporary safety nets for those that truly need it. 

They tell us they're going to cut "entitlements", then the very Tea Partiers they're pandering to throw a fit when Medicare is mentioned, so they instead tell us Obamacare is what's jeopardizing  their Medicare, and we're right back where we started- no plan, just constant haranguing about what the doggone Liberals are doing to "destroy the country". 

grape_crush
grape_crush

> The Senate Conservatives Fund, the outside group founded by former Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, has endorsed Matt Bevin, the Republican challenger running in a primary against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

This is probably the best thing that could have happened for McConnell.

Think about it; McConnell's primary opposition is spending their own money to point out how McConnell is bringing funding back to his home state for a badly-needed infrastructure project that means jobs and increased prosperity. For a Senator, that's a feature, not a bug; it makes McConnell look like a shrewd politician who looks out for his state's interests and less of the obstructionist right wing partisan he's been over the past few years...which will benefit him in the general election.

Counter-intuitive, I know. But if McConnell's campaign is smart, they'll ju-jitsu this to his advantage.

mjshep
mjshep

The Senate Conservatives Fund is actually a secret arm of the Democratic Party, working to increase Dem seats in the Senate This is one of their brilliant undercover tactics to damage McConnell and elect Lundergren Grimes.

What, you say, they're not? Then they really are crazy, I guess.



forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Anyone who thinks this has anything to do with the actual deal is fooling themselves.  The only factor that has on this is Jim DeMint deciding to run it in October - and it's a dumb decision on DeMint's part because it's badly misreading how much people give a hoot about whoever is running against McConnell.

alantown
alantown

$340,000 in attack adds against McConnell, in September of an off-election year?  Where does all the money come from, and who thinks this is a good use of it?

ThomasHall
ThomasHall

Good McConnell will have to call upon donors to fund both his primary challenger and during the general election in which he only has been winning with 52% of the vote. The $2.9 billion pork project inserted secretly into the last debt ceiling bill should be used against him also. Recall DeMinted also egged on the GOP baggies to shutdown the government and to maintain the shutdown.

One less senior, or junior, Republican is always a good thing.

jmac
jmac

Rand Paul has endorsed McConnell (maybe holding his nose).   Didn't take Paul long to fall in line.   

cent-fan
cent-fan

  And wasn't it Kentucky that rolled out Obamacare in the smoothest way?  Better turn out those lights and slam those doors as fast as possible.  Wouldn't want Kentucky to show they can handle anything more complex than a horse's beeehind...