May 19th, 2009
02:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Bunning calls McConnell a 'control freak'

Jim Bunning today called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a 'control freak.'
Jim Bunning today called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a 'control freak.'

(CNN) – Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning is maintaining his reputation for holding the most entertaining conference calls in Congress, telling reporters listening in to his latest teleconference Tuesday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a "control freak."

"McConnell is leading the ship, but he is leading it in the wrong direction," Bunning said of his fellow Kentucky senator, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "If Mitch McConnell doesn't endorse me, it could be the best thing that ever happened to me in Kentucky."

The embattled Bunning has openly butted heads with his party's leadership since declaring earlier this year his intention to seek a third Senate term. Both McConnell and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been tepid on a reelection bid for Bunning, who narrowly escaped defeat in 2004 and is likely to face the same Democratic opponent next year.

In previous conference calls, Bunning has pledged to sue the NRSC if they support another Republican candidate, and that he doesn't "believe anything [NRSC Chairman] John Cornyn says."

Bunning, 77, has also hit back at reported statements from McConnell that the former baseball star is too old to seek another Senate term.

"Do you know Arlen Specter will be 80, has had four bouts with cancer and he still wants to run for the U.S. Senate?" Bunning told reporters on the call earlier this month. "And I'm being criticized at 77 and healthy for wanting to run for the U.S. Senate by certain leadership people in my party. Give me a break."


Filed under: Jim Bunning • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Tulsa

    LOL the Republican party just keeps the laughs coming!

    May 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Dwayne

    Here's a thought. Become a blue dog democrat?

    May 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Moderate Democrat

    "In previous conference calls, Bunning has pledged to sue the NRSC if they support another Republican candidate, and that he doesn't "believe anything [NRSC Chairman] John Cornyn says."

    Mr. Bunning, don't feel bad, only 21% of america believes anything the republicans as a whole say. It's good to see you waking up from your long sleep! Better late then never!

    May 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. joe smith

    as a former baseball star, before the days of roids, mr. bunning comes very well equipped to handle the adversities a paid mouthpiece for AIPAC has to say, and his party. we hope mr. bunning prevails in his quest for a third term..not many no-nonsense, men of integrety left in d.c...

    May 19, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Biff Hedrickson

    Senator Bunning, Sounds like you are really ready for the barn. Go ahead and relax into your retirement with a Job Well Done.

    May 19, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Greg from MA

    The Republicans eat their own. It what happens when a species is on the brink of extinction, ironically enough.

    May 19, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. barking republican ankle biters

    Well at least you got one thing right Jim,old turtlehead has lost his mind.

    May 19, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)

    Ah, some more good news today.

    May 19, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Stormer

    How nice. The GOP continues to shoot itself in the foot by going after its own moderate voices. It appears that the only reason the GOP claims to have a "Big Tent" is to house the egos of its party leaders.

    May 19, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Sam I Am

    Mr. Bunning, it has nothing to do with your age. It has everything to do with your politics. Even Kentucky is tired of you. I'd tell you to go home, but they might not let you back.

    May 19, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Geez

    WHY is this guy still crying the blues? AND who the hell cares?

    May 19, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Ted Tartaglia

    Isn't it fun watching the Republic party implode!

    May 19, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Dave

    With a party like that, who needs enemies?

    May 19, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Steve, Columbia SC

    And now he is acting like a left wing extremist Demoncrat.........if they can't get what they want in an election, let's sue and take it to court.

    May 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Peter E

    We need to impose the same mandatory retriement age on congressmen as we do on everybody else in MAerica. Seriously, they are not just out of touch with today's American voters, but with all of reality. Either that, or impose the same term limits on them as we do on the president!

    May 19, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. rick perry

    I would like to see all politicians thrown in jail for crimes against the constitution and to the citizens of the USA.George Washington and Ben Franklin are Rolling Over in their graves over the crimes the leaders of this country have done.As for Jim Bunning,He made me sick with his tough guy approach.2 terms is all you need Bunning

    May 19, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. carolyn

    Jim Bunning is a fine man and if I still lived in Ky. I would be honored to vote for him. He has more character in his little finger that Mitch has in his entire hand.

    May 19, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz,VA

    I love the republicans bashing each other. I figure we'll see this for another 18 months. If you ask me, if your hair is white as snow, you're too old to be in Congress. I respect the experience that most of these old guys have, but how are they suppose to pass effective legislation if they can't relate to a youthful audience?

    May 19, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Bev - NYC

    Wow, someone resisting the Republican Borg collective. This race will be interesting. If Bunning is too old to run, McConnell should have a few words with McCain since he will be 73 if reelected.

    May 19, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. ANGIE IN PA

    Eating their own again? What shambles the Gop Is in!

    May 19, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. rich

    It's amazing to witness how Republicans eat each other alive. They don't care how they bite and chew each other...the just bite and chew each other indiscrimatively. LOL. Nevertheless, I luv being a public voyer to their canabilism. It's quite satisfying and entertaining all the while.

    May 19, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Erin

    The Republican emplosion is like catnip to me. I cannot get enough.

    May 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    Even Republicans need term limits...... this is a prime example.

    May 19, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Tessa

    As a resident of Kentucky, I'm so completely ashamed that my state's senators are behaving in such a manner. There's Mitch McConnell who had to take a tour bus around the state to prove that he's still in touch with voters... And the dim-wit Jim Bunning, who seems to believe that any press is good press. Someone please tell him that it's not.

    May 19, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Kentucky

    Bunning is right on this issue and all Kentuckians know that McConnell is a control freak. McConnell is a joke but so is Bunning too.
    Jack Conway will be the next senator from Kentucky.....

    May 19, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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