RNC chair: ‘Of course’ I’m supporting McConnell
December 3rd, 2013
07:58 PM ET
12 months ago

RNC chair: ‘Of course’ I’m supporting McConnell

Washington (CNN) - The head of the Republican National Committee waved off any suggestion he might not rally behind Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in his bid for reelection.

"Of course I'm going to support the leader of the Republican Party," Reince Priebus told the panel on CNN's "Crossfire" on Tuesday.


Asked by host Stephanie Cutter if he would defect from the Kentucky lawmaker’s camp, Priebus did not give any indication that abdication from the longtime establishment Republican's corner was on the table.

McConnell faces a primary challenge from Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin, a Kentucky businessman who has already won the endorsement of key groups in the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

The Senate Conservatives Fund, a PAC founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and current head of the right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation, announced its support for Bevin in October, after McConnell backed a compromise to end the government shutdown.

McConnell is one of seven incumbent Republican Senators facing primary challenges from their right in the continuing war over the ideological future of the GOP.

In addition, Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, John Cornyn of Texas, and Mike Enzi of Wyoming will need to win battles within their own party.

Despite the flux of intraparty warfare, Priebus insisted that Republicans still have a "huge opportunity" to take back the Senate in 2014. He also tried to dispel the notion that all primary challenges are a negative.

"Our party has always had a lot of primaries," Priebus said. "

"When I came out of Wisconsin, Scott Walker was ‘primaried’ by a Congressman named Mark Neumann," the RNC chair added. "Ron Johnson was ‘primaried’ by about three other Republicans that were running. But the cream rose to the top. Scott Walker won. Ron Johnson won. And it works."

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Vence

    I love when these vicious animals turn into each other!

    December 3, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Idiot. USA needs term-limits.

    December 3, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    (Walker & Johnson) Cream came to the top? It is more like crap floats.

    December 3, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    The people of Kentucky need to break the awful habit of sending this clown to congress every six years. he's been part of the problem for many years now. time to retire turtlehead!

    December 3, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein

    It isn't surprising that the RNC chair is going to support McConnell. I would like to see the mud fly when it comes to the primary.

    December 3, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  6. RonL

    Its time for some of these Senators and Congress Members that have been around 24 to 30 years to move on. I am speaking both Democratic and Republican. Most of them no longer serve the voters and are consumed with the gamesmanship of presenting their parties ideology. This is why a background check with 80% American citizen support still could not get passed.

    December 3, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Chamber of Commerce SPRINTS away from the tea potty wingnut Bevin to support Turtle. Look for the NRA to follow them like they did in Alabama and Virginia. Young and Cuccinelli had no money to win.

    December 4, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  8. Marie MD

    I feel for KY. You have a governor who is all about healthcare for his citizens then you have this old guy with a LOT of $$$ and the 60s racist libertarian or whatever he really is.
    I don't think an endorsement by the man with the funny name and voice means much. If their radio oxyaddict came out in his favor then that would count so much more.

    December 4, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |