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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mitch McConnell’s Tea Party Campaign Manager: ‘I’m Sorta Holdin’ My Nose’

Jesse Benton’s stint as campaign manager of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign has always been mired in speculation — and it may soon be over.

As the former chairman of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign,  the campaign manager of Rand Paul’s successful Senate bid in 2010 and the husband of Ron Paul’s granddaughter, Benton gave a Tea Party credibility to McConnell, who supported the younger Paul’s opponent in the 2010 U.S. Senate primary in Kentucky.

It was easy to assume that Benton aligned with his rival McConnell in a compromise that would somehow benefit the Pauls later. That assumption seems to have been confirmed by Benton himself.

In a recording obtained by the, Benton told former Ron Paul aide Dennis Fusaro, “I’m sorta holdin’ my nose for two years, cause what we’re doin’ here is going to be a big benefit for Rand in ’16…”

The purpose of Fusaro’s call was to get the advisor on record about allegations that Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign bribed State Senator Kent Sorenson to resign from Michele Bachmann’s campaign and endorse Paul. Sorenson has alleged that Benton was aware of the transaction — Benton denies this.

Over the last three election cycles, Benton has made more than $1.1 million, according to

McConnell will face Tea Partier Matt Bevin in GOP primary. Bevin was quick to pounce on this news:

Whoever wins the primary will likely face Kentucky’s secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is leading McConnell within the margin of error in recent polls.

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  • doninsd

    Do NOT get anywhere near a GOPer and a bus!!

    • gmccpa

      That’s REALLY funny.

  • Lynda Groom

    He’s toast, or soon will be. Truth to power sometimes costs a job or two before the message sinks in.

  • Sand_Cat

    Whatever stench McConnell gives off, any tea-partier has to be worse.

    • Dominick Vila

      You are right. McConnell is not in trouble as a result of attacks from the left, but because of far right challenges. If the Tea Party succeeds, we will be facing an ultra conservative GOP nominee. That likelihood of that happening depends on whether or not voters in Kentucky consider Mitch McConnell too moderate.

  • Pamby50

    Couldn’t happen to better bunch of people.

  • JD Mulvey

    It seems like there are two possible scenarios here. As the article assumes, it’s possible that Benton was revealing his true feelings about McConnell. In this case, Benton’s a cynical opportunist who doesn’t even like his own candidate.

    Pretty embarrassing for McConnell… Humiliating really, and pure pleasure for those of us who loathe the man.

    But the other possibility is that Benton was conning the Tea Party, not McConnell. He’s happy to jump on any cause that pays and say anything that builds his personal power.

    This one strongly suggests that the “leadership” of the allegedly grass-roots Tea Party is in fact a cynical bunch of crooks, and their followers a bunch of gullible, brainless doofuses who’ll follow any oily cretin who panders to their prejudices.

    Wait… Can both be true?