Bachmann defection opens new rift in campaign
December 29th, 2011
10:25 AM ET
10 years ago

Bachmann defection opens new rift in campaign

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - One of Michele Bachmann’s top campaign advisers is breaking with his own candidate to defend Kent Sorenson, the Bachmann campaign’s former Iowa chairman who publicly defected to Ron Paul on Wednesday.

Wes Enos, Bachmann’s Iowa political director, released a statement Thursday defending Sorenson from Bachmann’s accusation that Paul offered him money to switch allegiances.

In a statement distributed by Sorenson, Enos stated “unequivocally” that Sorenson’s decision was “in no way financially motivated.”

“His decision had more to do with the fact that the Ron Paul supporters have been something of a family to him since he was first elected in 2008 and here in the end, as it becomes more and more apparent that the caucus cycle is coming to an end, Kent believed that he needed to be with them as they stand on the cusp of a potential caucus upset,” Enos said in the statement.

“While I personally disagree with Kent’s decision, and plan to stay with Michele Bachmann because I truly believe in her, I cannot, in good conscious watch a good man like Kent Sorenson be attacked as a ‘sell-out’ … That is simply not the case, and it was not the basis of his decision,” he added.

After the state senator from Indianola stunned Iowa political watchers by showing up on stage at a Paul rally late Wednesday, the Bachmann campaign released a statement from the candidate accusing Sorenson of leaving for money.

“Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign,” Bachmann said.

The Bachmann campaign did not immediately to a request for comment about Enos’ claims Thursday.

Meanwhile, Sorenson's Facebook page was flooded with comments after his switch made national headlines.

Several Paul backers posted comments thanking him for his support.

"I thank you for your courage and devotion to liberty," wrote one.

Others were not so kind, calling Sorenson an "idiot" and a "spineless mercenary hack."

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • Ron Paul
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Hang it up lady – you are not going to win anything.

    December 29, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |

    This is so entertaining. You can't make this stuff up. First Ed Rollins dumps her, now Sorenson, and you've got Enos defending Sorenson's decision & character while Bachmann is contradicting her campaign adviser.

    December 29, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Do these people ever stop, look, and listen to what they say? Okay, the guy didn't leave for financial reasons, reasons which really are not all that bad when you *stop and think* about it. So, they leave it up to our imaginations to wonder and wander until we come up with our own "reasons" and conclusions.

    The man didn't leave for financial gain, rather he left for personal reasons. Doesn't that sound much worse to you? Doesn't that make both sides look bad, especially the Bachmann campaign? Don't you think that the Bachmann campaign would have been much better of saying that the man left for financial reasons, instead of leaving it up to our imaginations to visualize various scenarios where he leaves for personal reasons? Isn't this why the Bachmann campaign has been slowly fading away?

    December 29, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Reggie

    (good humoured chuckle)
    Ah, Liberty. Aren't you the contagious one. Spreads quickly; causes panic.
    Very amusing.

    December 29, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Bruce Eder

    I feel like Kent "Flounder" Dorfman in Animal House in the scene where the parade is broken up - he's watching in wonder and delight as all of the villains are turning on each other, or caught unawares and get what's coming to them, and all h-ll is breaking loose. . . . Oh boy, is this great!!!!!!

    December 29, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Helaine Chersonsky

    I can't wait for the Paul/Obama debates; it should be rich-the Marxist Obama vs. Paul, the bigot. It would be entertaining if this country wasn't in such dire straits. Conservatives need to get it together, and I don't mean super-smooth, say-anything-to-be elected Romney. Romney is not a conservative. Sorry, folks.

    December 29, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. MH

    Mitt Romney is phoney. I would never vote for him. His personality is respulsive.

    December 29, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Straight Shooter

    Did he really say he truly believes in her in the same paragraph as he says she is lying?

    December 29, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Robert

    Dear Mrs. Bachmann – epic fail. How can you be our president if you can't manage your own staff, or your own tongue. Please go back home, and study up, and if 4 years you can be another Mittens Gingrich. Sincerely, the common sense of Americans.

    December 29, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. MH

    Mitt Romney making the bet he did on the debate, shows how plastic and phoney he is
    and how he's out of touch with the American people. I can't stand him. Most people now a days can't even
    make a fifty dollar bet. They don't have any money.

    December 29, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Just make it up

    Sounds to me like the Bachmann campaign is trying to shy away from the notion that they have been greasing the palms of "supporters" over the last few weeks. Pretty bad when they are openly admitting that people are getting paid, either by the Paul campaign or their own.

    December 29, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Well, well..

    Ahhh, the smell of cut throat in the morning!!

    December 29, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Vet4RonPaul

    If I read this correctly, Bachmann's own and current staff deny what she said about him leaving for money. Awkward!

    December 29, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Florida Joe

    OH MY
    What a shock Michelle is lying again..........remember the story about the vaccine? She just says anything that pops into her head….Kinda like Newt!!!

    December 29, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. v_mag

    Michele, who was supposed to walk away with Iowa, is now collapsing into a small puddle of hatred.

    December 29, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. unsub

    liar liar pants on fire!

    December 29, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    She peaked way too early! There is little chance of her getting in the top 3 in Iowa. So much for native born counting for anything. I doubt that Ron Paul will make it beyond Florida's primary.

    December 29, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. george of the jungle

    This has been so much fun to watch. Just like a circus. All the repo clowns. They can't seem to stop bashing each other now. Vote Obama the only adult in the room.

    December 29, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Cindy

    I alway thought Michelle was a fraud. Now I know she is a liar too. The head of the Iowa republicans said on cspan today that it was against the law for a state legislator to take money for an endorsement. I doubt that he broke the law. Michelle should have checked the Iowa law before she made that statement.

    December 29, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Dennis1020

    All over but the slow walking and sad talking for the Bachmann campaign. What ever made her think she was presidential material?1? Time to go back to Minnesota and worry about getting re-elected to the House.

    December 29, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    What fun...GOP/Tea Party mud slinging free for all we have been waiting for. Too bad Palin isn't in the mix, mama grizzly would have made it one bloody fight.

    December 29, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. EricCT

    Maybe she can pose for Playboy after she finishes fifth in Iowa.

    December 29, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. vet in texas

    Any of the posters here who really think that Bachmann would be a better president than Obama.................probably voted for W twice, donated to SarahPac, and actually had a Herman Cain for president sticker on their car.........yeah your really a good judge of competent leaders.

    "although I didn't vote for him (Kennedy), he's the president and I hope he does a good job" – John Wayne

    December 29, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. ThinkAgain

    First of all, experience shows you can't believe anything Bachmann says. Second of all, it's pretty obvious the guy jumped ship because he wants to be with a winner (though he shouldn't get unpacked, given that he's going with Ron Paul). I'm sure money figured in there somewhere .... with friends like that ...

    December 29, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. kat

    That guy must have been an idiot to start with if he falls for the BS Paul is peddling. I wouldn't want someone like that working with my team. You know what they say, "with friends like that, who needs enemies?"

    December 29, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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