February 24th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Bunning threatens suit against NRSC

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/27/art.bunning.gi.jpg caption="Bunning will seek reelection in 2010."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning said Tuesday he's ready to sue Senate Republicans if they back a challenger in next year's GOP primary.

“I would have a suit against the NRSC if they did that,” Bunning told Kentucky reporters on a conference call. “Support of incumbents is the only reason for [the NRSC's] existence. So if they recruited someone and supported them in a primary against me, I would be able to sue them because they’re not following their bylaws.”

His threat follows a report that Kentucky's State Senate president, David Williams, recently met with officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. NRSC Chairman John Cornyn told the Washington Post the meeting was a "courtesy visit" and that the committee fully supports Bunning. Williams has not yet said whether he is planning a Senate bid in 2010.

Bunning dismissed Cornyn's remarks. “I don’t believe anything John Cornyn says," he said Tuesday, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "I’ve had miscommunications with John Cornyn from I guess the first week of this current session of the Senate. He either doesn’t understand English, or he doesn’t understand direct - ‘I’m going to run’ - which I said to him in the cloakroom of our chamber.”

He expressed similar frustration last month with his fellow Kentuckian, Sen. Mitch McConnell, after the Senate Minority leader said he was unsure whether Bunning would run again.

“[McConnell] either had a lapse of memory or something when speaking to the Press Club last week when he said that he didn't know what my intentions were,” he said then. “He knew very well what my intentions were.”

Bunning - who has roughly $150,000 in his campaign account, according to his most recent FEC filing - is considered one of the Senate's most endangered Republicans heading into the next cycle. He drew unwanted headlines over the weekend with his prediction that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who suffers from cancer, would be dead within the year.

Democratic Kentucky Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, who nearly unseated Bunning in 2004, has already said he will run again in 2010.

Filed under: Jim Bunning • John Cornyn • NRSC
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Jillie


    February 24, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Dave

    Bunning needs to drop back and punt. I think that he has lost touch with reality. Go Home

    February 24, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Robbie

    Please, please let him run again! We here in the bluegrass state want to defeat him ourselves.

    February 24, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Jo

    This man has a lot more to worry about after the rude and crude remarks he made against Justice Ginsberg. Hopefully the people of Kentuckey will send this man back to where he came from and they will get a senator who really supports them and looks out for their best interest and not his own.

    February 24, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Mike

    This clown should have stuck with baseball.

    February 24, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Alfred E Neumann

    The Democrats have Ted Kennedy and the Republicans have Jim Bunning.

    February 24, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Deb

    I'm sick of repubs hiding behind Chirstianity, I realize more than ever that there is nothing "Chirst Like" the way the repubs have behaved. I am ashamed and no longer consider myself a repub.

    February 24, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    This entitlement attitude is sickening. Bunning IS NOT entitled to that office for life! I think the message should be " Support of WORTHY incumbents is the only reason for [the NRSC's] existence". That would leave Bunning in the cold! Let's leave this to te people of Kentucky. That is how it is supposed to work! Here's an idea for the NRSC, stay neutral and left the people decide! No lawsuit!

    February 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Steve (the real one)

    Deb February 24th, 2009 5:24 pm ET
    I'm sick of repubs hiding behind Chirstianity, I realize more than ever that there is nothing "Chirst Like" the way the repubs have behaved. I am ashamed and no longer consider myself a repub
    Republicans only right? Moronic behavior is not limited to party! Unfortunately, your view is narrow and only half right or half wrong, you decide but don't act like all dems are angels and all repubs are devils

    February 24, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |