Skip to comments.Rand Paul endorses Mitch McConnell in 2014 Senate race, won’t back tea party challenge
Posted on 03/28/2013 3:15:48 PM PDT by markomalley
The Daily Caller has learned that Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is endorsing Sen. Mitch McConnell for re-election in 2014, ending speculation that Paul would back a tea party challenge to the Senate minority leader.
Rand Paul has endorsed McConnell, Jesse Benton, McConnells 2014 campaign manager, told The Daily Caller.
Benton, who has worked for both Rand Paul and his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, is credited by insiders with brokering Pauls support for McConnell.
The move quashes a determined effort by Kentucky Republican Liberty Caucus chairman David Adams, who launched Pauls Senate bid and served as Pauls campaign manager through the 2010 primaries, and other tea party leaders to mount a primary challenge against McConnell.
Paul recently appeared in a Mitch McConnell advertisement with the slogan Stand Up to Obama: Join Mitch & Rand, prompting Adams to complain on Facebook, Is anyone buying this, really?
Theres no support at all at this point for a tea party challenge, Benton said, in a statement confirmed by other Kentucky Republican insiders.
Adams had a conversation with Paul at an event Wednesday afternoon, but they were not meeting in order for Adams to try to convince Paul to back off his pro-McConnell stance, as had been suspected by one insider.
I was there with a couple hundred Lexington Republicans. I chatted briefly with Rand for a few minutes, but it wasnt an exclusive one-on-one kind of meeting, Adams told TheDC, adding that hes still hopeful that the tea party wing of the party can field a challenger to McConnell.
There are behind-closed-doors meetings happening all over the state. Right now, were trying to gauge interest and viability for a generic candidate. Were working to get down to one alternative to McConnell. The process will be completed by June 1, Adams said.
Adams admitted that Pauls endorsement of McConnell will not hurt Paul with his tea party base, but said it will rather reflect poorly on McConnell for trying to ingratiate himself with the tea party element through Paul.
Among people here in Kentucky, its not a major concern. Rand has built up a lot of goodwill with voters in Kentucky who are not McConnell fans at all, so they see this as a McConnell effort to try to ingratiate himself with Rand supporters. It will hurt McConnell, if anything, Adams said.
But Benton, McConnells campaign manager, isnt so sure.
David Adams? The guy we fired? Hes just so incompetent, Benton said. Hes trying to stir some rumor mill about a serious tea party challenger, Benton insisted.
Rand cant stand David [Adams], Benton said.
Infighting between tea party figures has also weakened the chances for businessman and potential tea party challenger Matt Bevin to take on McConnell, according to some insiders.
Hes had his name thrown around out here, but Im not convinced of Bevins viability, Adams said. I think there are other potentially superior candidates.
Sounds like Rand has been in Washington too long. How in the world could anyone endorse a stiff board with a mind full of mush?
Please. He said this two weeks ago and no one made a big deal about it then.
It does not take long to get “inside the beltway” I see...
David Adams? The guy we fired? Hes just so incompetent,
“David Adams, who launched Pauls Senate bid and served as Pauls campaign manager through the 2010 primaries, and other tea party leaders to mount a primary challenge against McConnell.”
If he is so incompetent how did he get Rand Paul elected.
Looks to me like somebody just got stabbed in the back.
Rand goes with the guy with the power.
“Paul recently appeared in a Mitch McConnell advertisement with the slogan Stand Up to Obama”
Rand and McConnell made an ad Stand up to Obama????????
When will McConnel start doing that?
I don’t think this will save McConnell from a primary challenge. People are just p*ssed. I hear Mitch on radio ads all the time now and, listening to them, he’s a blessed saint to Conservatives. All he’s doing is patting himself on the back. The primary challenge IS coming, Mitch, regardless of Senator Rand Paul’s position.
In the short time he's been in DC, Rand Paul seems to be good at saying the right thing, but turning around and towing the party line. I'm beginning to get suspicious.
Quid pro quo for MM signing off on RP’s recent bill/amendment to axe six (?) fedgov fiefdoms, perhaps ?
I’m afraid it was obvious that he couldn’t be trusted from the start. And now we’re seeing that confirmed, more and more.
No real principles.
These people ALL suck! There’s no one we can depend on.
...and is Ron Paul's grandson-in-law (married Paul's grandaughter Valori Pyeatt. A little in the family wink, wink, nod nod.
Agreed. Beats the heck out of me. RP is just another establishment Republican.
I say they did good by blocking Ashley CRudd from running.
Some here say she never would have won. I think differently.
Actually, it was NOT good. Judd would’ve been a fiasco for KY Dems. Now they’ll have a serious Dem challenger in Sec of State Alison Grimes.
I remember when they said Al Franken was going to be a disaster too. uh huh.
The dems only hope in Kentucky was to split the gop. As soon as rand Paul endorsed McConnell it was all over for them.
Minnesota is not Kentucky. Judd was a deeply flawed and divisive potential candidate, and she did not have the KY Dem Machine behind her.
Secondly, that MN Senate race had 3 candidates running (which would’ve had an altered dynamic in a one-on-one race, which Coleman would’ve prevailed in). The Independence Party candidate running provided “moderate” Democrats and Independents an opportunity to vote for someone not viewed as a nutter, but not having to vote Republican.
Thirdly, it became exceedingly apparent that the race was “won” on the face of voter fraud, and shattered the myth of MN as being a “clean elections” state.
The machine would have been behind her as soon as she announced. there would have been a 3 party race if Paul had backed a tea party candidate. It’s no coincidence she dropped out the same day Paul endorsed McConnell. third party is no longer going to happen and McConnell is now going to win.
Why do I get the feeling that he’s a meat packer? Isn’t there ANY WAY that a conservative Republican can find REAL conservatives to work with him?
Paul can support McConnell because NOBODY has worked as hard as McConnell to thwart Obama, nobody has had the gonads to try and thwart Obamscare the way he has. McConnell has a lot organizational experience going for him. There is plenty not to like about Mitch McConnel but thereis also much to like. He has held the party together better than any leader in modern history.
I’m writing from my iPad, I don’t do well with this thing, sorry.
You mean they would’ve been behind her after a primary (presuming she wouldn’t have been destroyed in an ugly primary - then the machine would’ve been more interested in scrambling to preserve their house of cards Dem house majority in Frankfort). Given that Alison Grimes was the more serious and credible candidate, there was already a split.
Yep. Lundergrime can't match Mitch money...
I hate these writers that lump anyone with a libertarian Liberty Caucus association in as a certified Tea Party canididate.
Ron Pauls people tried to claim authorship of the Tea Party and others of his cadre still claim it.
There is no Tea Party candidate. There is no canidate with large tea party support in this article.
But that is not the case. He has been a part of Washington too long and has absolutely no understanding what real conservative Americans think.
In short, he is everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.
They were counting on tacky celeb power to win with a divided GOP.
Now neither is happening and McConnell will win.
Like his daddy would vote against earmarks when he KNEW his district would get them anyway.
Watch for Cruz to start swaying with the wind before too long. They all do.