Mitch McConnell Attacks Conservative Group for Endorsing Primary Opponent
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore attacked the Senate Conservatives Fund for endorsing McConnell’s primary challenger Matt Bevin on Friday.
“Matt Bevin now has the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving D.C. fundraising group that made its name by recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates that ensured Barack Obama a majority in the Senate,” Moore said in a statement to the Washington Post. “They clearly care less about Kentuckians than they do about their reputation for supporting laughably bad candidates. Now they can add a New England bailout recipient who claims he went to MIT to their roster of notable failures."
The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), the group Moore was referring to, was instrumental in helping Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) win their races for the U.S. Senate against establishment candidates.
“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 Friday morning 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.
When then-Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) headed the organization in 2010 and endorsed Paul over McConnell’s hand-picked Senate candidate Trey Grayson, DeMint said in a statement at the time: “Senator McConnell and I are on different sides in this race but I support him as our leader.”
“I'm endorsing Rand Paul because he's a true conservative who will stand up to the Washington establishment,” DeMint said in his endorsement on May 5, 2010.
McConnell had supported Grayson over Rand Paul in that race. "I know Trey Grayson and trust him,” McConnell said in a radio ad at the time. “We need Trey's conservative leadership to help turn back the Obama agenda.”
Now, a few years later, McConnell is up for re-election, and Paul has endorsed him in that bid.
In the 2012 cycle, Cruz was one of SCF’s first endorsements, and the group came in to help Cruz topple the establishment-connected David Dewhurst before most other conservative groups helped. Cruz and McConnell have been at odds as of late over how to go about attacking Obamacare.
This attack on the SCF, which was instrumental in electing Paul and Cruz, and calling candidates the SCF has supported like them “laughably bad candidates” comes after McConnell’s campaign rankled Kentucky Tea Parties by calling those which supported Bevin “fringe.”
In addition to now-Sens. Paul and Cruz, SCF's endorsed candidates who have won general elections also include now-Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Mike Lee (R-UT).