McConnell's GOP primary challenger gets a conservative endorsement
October 18th, 2013
01:06 PM ET
10 months ago

McConnell's GOP primary challenger gets a conservative endorsement

(CNN) - The man looking to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a GOP primary has earned the endorsement of a major conservative super PAC, an endorsement that comes on the heels of a deal McConnell brokered ending the partial government shutdown.

McConnell did himself few favors with some in the conservative base by ushering in a last-minute bargain Wednesday reopening the government and raising the nation's borrowing authority while earning only cosmetic changes to Obamacare.

Now, the man launching a primary challenge against the Kentucky senator, businessman Matt Bevin, has garnered the support of the influential Senate Conservatives Fund.

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"Matt Bevin is a true conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are destroying our country. He is not afraid to stand up to the establishment and he will do what it takes to stop Obamacare," Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement announcing the endorsement.

"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."

The group was founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint and is known for supporting successful challengers in GOP primaries. The super PAC had said it was "open" to potentially endorsing Bevin when he first announced his challenge in July.

The group was "waiting to see if the grassroots in Kentucky unite behind him," Hoskins said of Bevin at the time.

In its statement announcing the Bevin endorsement on Friday, the group attacked McConnell, saying that he "has a liberal record and refuses to fight for conservative principles."

Counting against McConnell in the eyes of the super PAC are moves like the deal averting the so-called fiscal cliff and the government bailout of Wall Street banks. The group also attacked McConnell for doing "nothing" to fight the Senate bill passed this summer that would create a 13-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented migrants, which conservative groups see as amnesty for lawbreakers.

McConnell's campaign was quick to dismiss the endorsement.

"Matt Bevin now has the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving DC fundraising group that made its name by recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates that ensured Barack Obama a majority in the Senate," spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement.

"They clearly care less about Kentuckians than they do about their reputation for supporting laughably bad candidates."

The Kentucky Republican Senate primary is scheduled for May of next year. If McConnell beats Bevin for the GOP nomination, the five-term Senator is also facing a strong challenge from the left, with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes seeking the Democratic nomination.


Filed under: Matt Bevin • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Rusty Krus

    A face that only a mother could love!

    October 18, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Time to vote this antiquated obstructionist out, but then again, this is “Kentuckah”!

    October 18, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Tell you the truth, none, practically not a single guy of GOP thugs worth my dime. They are totally Al Queda members of Rethuglicans party.

    October 18, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. TONE

    Come on Mitch destroy the gop in order to destroy the teabaggers defect do not give them a voice.

    October 18, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Duke

    Wow, because Sen. McConnel belives in NOT doing over the American people, his reward from thwTP shadow govenment is to be pilloried....

    Sen. McConnel, I am not a Repub, but I support you in your efforts right now.

    October 18, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. What's in that tea anyway?

    one has to feel bad for the turtle of the Senate....Naaaah ! That would be hypocritical....Just enjoy watching the clown car of the GOP/Tea soon to be extinct party , run off the road into a ceaspool ditch with enjoyment and pleasure

    October 18, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    Good lord. What is happening to this country when Mitch McConnell isn't conservative enough? If the Tea Party gets hold of this country, we are through. They scare me more than Al Queda.

    October 18, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    Last paragraph: The Kentucky Republican Senate primary is scheduled for May of next year. If McConnell beats Bevin for the GOP nomination, the five-term Senator is also facing a strong challenge from the left, with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes seeking the Democratic nomination.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Even if he does manage to beat his teabag toddler opponent, the damage of being primaried will still have been done.

    October 18, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "They clearly care less about Kentuckians than they do about their reputation for supporting laughably bad candidates."

    Ouch. And true.

    This is going to be an interesting primary to follow.

    October 18, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    How long is it going to take for the Republican establishment to realize that they need to deal with their Tea Party invasion themselves? Repubilcans need to start mounting primary challenges of their own against some of the Tea Party members coming from supposedly safe districts.

    Reagan rule be damned, expose the lies for what they are. The Republican Party has allowed itself to be overrun the very big money that they so worship. It's like the addiction has become the affliction. What used to seem to make you strong is now making you weak. The GOP has turned soft. It has allowed itself to be bullied, back-stabbed, and brain washed.

    October 18, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Peg

    Are you listening SCOTUS?

    It is starting to seem like an endorsement from an organization's super PAC is simply announcing who holds the purse and puppet strings. Even Republicans were complaining about the pressure they felt many were under to keep the shutdown and default threats going from popular conservative and Tea Party organizations.

    October 18, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    November 2014 News headline “Democrats regain the house and keep the senate

    November 2016 News headline “Clintons back in the white House”

    Thanks to Ted Cruz

    October 18, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. O'drama ya Mama

    The Republicans criticize Democrats for refusing to negotiate and bend to their demands but if a Republican negotiates he gets punished by his base. What a welcoming party.

    October 18, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Another reason why we should fight hard to get rid of tea partiers and anything with Jim DeMint's name attached
    to it. "Self-serving" is putting it nicely.
    While I don't like McConnell for his obstructionism and determination to make the President "one term", I like even
    less the tea party and their absolute determination to take over America.
    Hopefully Alison Grimes can knock off either one of them.

    October 18, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Jules

    All the more reason to vote for the Democratic challenger.

    October 18, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Thomas

    This is what happens when you don't teach your children respect , the end up being a TedCruz , Jim DeMint , or worse .

    October 18, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. more bs

    and let the games begin. it's time to play "let's eat our own"

    October 18, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. rs

    The GOP suicide act continues to play out. Too bad that instead of doing the jobs they were elected to, they are instead playing circular firing squad on the taxpayer's dime.

    October 18, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Thomas

    I feel very badly for any fiscal conservative republican , the Jim DeMints have destroyed there party .

    How can you respect the teaparty , when they have none !

    October 18, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Name

    Ha ha – awesome! Too funny – eat your own!

    October 18, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -In its statement announcing the Bevin endorsement on Friday, the group attacked McConnell, saying that he "has a liberal record and refuses to fight for conservative principles."

    For that statement alone, I would move there, if only to watch the GOP bloodletting.

    October 18, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Bill

    The seat flips to the Democrats and Grimes wins. Who cares what kind of tea bag endorsement the GOP candidate gets?
    Apparently, they have not learned anything from 2012, i.e. run an extreme candidate that passes the Heritage Foundation/Tea Cup purity test, then lose in the general election to an electable Democrat.

    October 18, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Old McObstruction doesn't have to worry about being beaten from the right. But he has one hell of a fight up against Allison Lundergan Grimes. Mitch, can you feel the walls closing in on you yet? Time for you to go!!

    R.I.P.G.O.P. 11/14 – THE WAVE IS COMING!!!

    October 18, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. penguin

    Kentucky just might vote for a guy like Bevin. The Tea Party ignores what made this country great. The east and west coast were connected wiyh the help of great capitalist such as Vanderbilt and Carnegie who made much wealth and stimulated the economy with railroads – railroads built on land given to them by our Government. And Alcoa became such an important capitalist company because the government funded the building of TVA dams. Not to mention our great agriculture system that reached its greatness because of the government funded dams and intricate irrigation systems as well as the funding of land grant colleges that provided government funded research and education. These, and other, "socialistic" policies fostered our capitalistic growth.

    October 18, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Warren

    A bigger question should be, why are these "super PAC's" tax exempt? Everyone knows just what they are and what they do.

    October 18, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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