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Friday, October 21, 2016

More Bad News For McConnell: Cruz, Lee And Johnson Refuse To Back The Minority Leader

More Bad News For McConnell: Cruz, Lee And Johnson Refuse To Back The Minority Leader

With another poll showing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) trailing his potential Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s senior senator got some very bad news in his primary challenge from Tea Partier Matt Bevin.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) all refused to endorse McConnell on Thursday.

All three senators are heroes of the Tea Party movement and vehemently oppose funding Obamacare.

NBC News reports:

“That’s a decision for the people of Kentucky to make,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said when asked on Thursday if he planned to support McConnell over Bevin.

“I think Sen. McConnell is very capable of taking that challenge on himself,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), adding that he doesn’t typically involve himself in primaries. “Pretend we never talked,” he said, laughing.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) agreed to stop and talk to a reporter about a push he’s leading to defund the president’s health care law. “I would love to have him,” he said when asked if he wants McConnell’s support for that initiative.

Asked a follow up question about whether he planned to support Bevin or McConnell, Lee said: “You’ve gone off topic. Thank you, though.”

This is why our Henry Decker said McConnell has “an Obamacare problem.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who defeated the candidate endorsed by McConnell in 2010’s GOP Kentucky U.S. Senate primary, has endorsed McConnell. Since then the minority leader has reached out to Paul and the Tea Party, even hiring Paul’s old campaign manager Jesse Benton to run his re-election bid.

The new poll from the Mellman Group should be even more disturbing for McConnell than the PPP Polls survey, where he trailed by 1 percent. It shows Grimes, Kentucky’s Secretary of State, leading McConnell by 2 percent in a head-to-head race. Among voters who are familiar with both candidates, Grimes leads by 15 percent.

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McConnell is known for his willingness to go negative against opponents, something Grimes seemed to be preparing for in her opening campaign ad.

As Politico‘s Glenn Thrush tweeted:


Who do you think would be a tougher opponent for Grimes — McConnell or Tea Partier Bevin?

NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect that while all three senators oppose the funding of Obamacare, they have not all endorsed a government shutdown.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • midway54

    The presence of this threesome in the Senate is bad news for the Country more than for McConnell.

  • JD Mulvey

    I’m not sure why this is considered such damaging news for McConnell. He’ll win his primary –even if it is a tough election for him –and then the Tea Partiers will forget all their griping and line up behind him in the general.

    The press continues to act like the Tea Party is some principled grass-roots movement. It isn’t.

  • 4sanity4all

    I say, let McConnell and Bevin beat each other up, and Grimes will leave them both in the dust. It is amusing to see all of the Republicans trying to out-jerk each other, all positioning themselves for the next election. They aren’t wasting energy on getting anything done for the long-suffering citizens of this country. Instead, every bit of their energy is focused on making Obama look bad, and winning the next election. It is so sick that they consider gridlocking the country to be a win for their twisted ideology.

  • Jack Hughes

    As McConnell is finding out, there’s nothing sadder than wasted pandering.

  • Dominick Vila

    You know the future looks bleak when Tea Party candidates, with a chance of winning state and district level elections, believe Mitch McConnell is too moderate. What is next? Viva el Third Reich?

    • TheSkalawag929

      I hope you’re wrong but doggonit I think you’re right.

    • Darius

      Idk. Secretary Grimes is already dragging Bitch McConnell AND distancing herself from President Obama. These two things will put her in a great position especially in an at-heart swing state. She’s going to have a serious shot at this.

      • Dominick Vila

        The fact that Alison Grimes disagrees with President Obama’s coal policies does not mean she is not loyal to the President or Democratic goals. Coal is an important topic in Kentucky, where thousands of families and businesses depend on that industry.
        The part I thought was most interesting in her recent speeches was her endorsement of the Affordable Care Act when she said that instead of talking about repealing ACA we should be seeking solutions to make it as effective and efficient as possible.
        I hope you are right about her chances…

  • asiaman496

    The only thing that would be better than his defeat would be the defeat of Bonehead err boner,,,? no thats not correct either….oh yea Bohner….oh well who cares…