Washington (CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's handpicked candidate in the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky was trounced by Rand Paul.
But that was last month.
Thursday Kentucky's senior senator hosts a fundraising reception and dinner in the nation's capitol for Paul.
Co-hosting the functions is Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. According to an invitation obtained by CNN, 10 GOP senators and 9 Republican House members are part of the welcome committee for the events. The invitation suggests donations for a reception at the NRSC headquarters as $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for political action committees. Donations for a dinner at Bistro Bis, a restaurant a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol building, range from $4,000-$5,000 for PAC's.
Part of Paul's message as he battled for his party's Senate nomination was that he was the anti-Washington candidate. He became a favorite of Tea Party activists, and was also assisted by supporters of his father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and a leader of the libertarian movement.
Paul easily knocked off the establishment candidate, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, whom McConnell supported, in the May 18 primary.
In his victory speech, Paul warned that "a day of reckoning" had arrived for the Washington establishment.
"I have a message from the Tea Party," he said. "A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: 'We've come to take our government back.' "
During the primaries, Paul promised not to accept campaign contributions from any federal lawmaker who voted in favor of the extremely unpopular 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, better known as the Wall Street bailout, and he criticized Grayson for doing just that. But some of the lawmakers listed on the invitation for the Paul fundraising events voted for the financial bailout.
But Paul says he's not breaking a campaign promise.
"In a primary, you look to define yourself and differentiate yourself from the other primary candidate. In the general you look to unify and bring people together. I think also Republicans since then are unified against any more bailouts," Paul told WKYU radio in Bowling Green.
National Democrats criticize Paul's fundraising visit to the nation's capitol.
"Rand Paul seems to think campaign pledges are revocable. What's next? A pledge to the far right wing, and another one to Kentuckians? Bottom line, Rand Paul is as phony as they come. The only thing sincere about Rand Paul is that he doesn't want Kentuckians to know who he really is," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy tells CNN.
The weekend after the primary, McConnell held a unity rally in Kentucky, to close ranks following the divisive primary. And even though they favored Greyson in the primary, national Republicans are now committed to Paul.
"We are proud to support Rand Paul's candidacy and we are confident that he will have the resources needed to win this November," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Amber Marchand tells CNN.
Paul faces off in the general election against Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic Senate nominee. The battle is to succeed two-term Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, who decided against running for re-election this year.
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
Will they be discussing Civil Rights? Oh...no as the GOP is against people and Civil Rights.... GOP platform: of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation. As a Christian I wonder often how the far right Christians mesh "the love of money is the root of all evil" with the GOP and their love of money/business?
Surprised he could find it
Dan Quayle II goes to Washington
God help America if these people are put in office. They will truly "take back America" to the Jim Crow days, and finish destroying the economy and the environment by deregulation every industry and letting Wall Street do whatever it wants...
And the sad thing is, people who are supposed to be Christians and the ones who are putting them in power!
What would Jesus say, I wonder?
Rand Paul is also a liar: He claims that he is a "board-certified" opthalmologist;
Here are the facts: Paul is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that HE incorporated in 1999.
Rand Paul is not certified with the American Board of Opthalmology, which is the board that does the real certifications.
I'm trusting the good people of Kentucky are smarter than to let a phony like Rand Paul represent them in the Senate.
I thought tea partiers were not part of the establishment and really didn't like the republican party. I guess now we know the real truth – just more republicans who will say things that other republicans only think. Just more of the same.
Whew, he sure didn't waste any time learning how to play Washington bingo. Show me da money, baybeee!
Still apologizing for BP, Dr. Paul?
Can you say lying KOO-KOO hypocrit?
All this means nothing if they don't win in November.
If Paul wants to get elected he won't let ANYONE know what he is really for. Once they know, few people will vote for someone who will trouce their rights in favor of business.
OH gee will he answer questions. Or does the tea bags have a no no policy about that. I mean if you ask a question and happen to get an "honest" answer you would see this bunch for what they are. Racist, egotistical and way way way out republican policy.
Outsider is a mild definition of Paul, Angle, Bachman and the rest of the republican radicals.
The republican party is a party of irresponsible misfits.
let her run for office
We've come to take our Country back? White only businesses? You're one messed up dude.
These racist groups, among other racist groups need to be stopped.
"I have a message from the Tea Party," he said. "A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: 'We've come to take our government back.'
Awwww... that's so sweet. Where do you suppose he's taking it? And will he bring it back afterward?
I guess Paul couldn't get a D.C. country club in time. These Republicans are making a big mistake associating themselves with this radical. If Obama associated with him they would cite it as further evidence that he associates with radicals. It shows their desperation.
What a lousy bunch of candidates the Republicans are running. The next governor of SC is a philandering Palin wannabe, and Rand Paul isn't even a certified obstetrician, but he's still most likely going to become a Senator! Forget about bad policies- the GOP is going to ruin America with bad politicians.