Michele Bachmann on Thursday accused her former Iowa campaign chairman of being a sellout and joining the Ron Paul campaign for money.
“The last time I talked to Kent Sorenson he said he was on board our campaign,” said Bachmann, appearing unsettled by questions from reporters in Iowa. During that phone conversation two days ago, she said, “he told me he was offered money, he was offered a lot of money by the Ron Paul campaign to go and associate with the Ron Paul campaign.”
Kent Sorenson, an Iowa state senator, announced late Wednesday that he was leaving the Bachmann campaign to join Ron Paul’s.
Sorenson later Thursday went on CNN
accusing Bachmann of making up the whole story of their phone conversation.
“The fact is that conversation never happened,” said Sorenson. He then said he looked at polls, realized Iowa was a two-person contest between Mitt Romney and Paul, and made his decision accordingly.
“I think we have a real clear opportunity to defeat Mitt Romney,” Sorenson said, adding. “ I believe, by far, Ron Paul is the truest conservative in that top-tier category.”
Asked why he was switching to Ron Paul, Sorenson said:
“I believe this is the right decision. I love Michele Bachmann and I love her family but … but it's clear she wasn't going to win Iowa."
Political observers say it's not unusual for Bachmann to lose high-profile staffers. Her organization brought on campaign manager Ed Rollins in late summer and he departed within weeks. Others who left the national campaign include deputy manager David Polyansky and pollster Ed Goeas.
In Washington, former Chief of Staff Ron Carey wrote an editorial in the Des Moines Register this summer accusing the congresswoman of churning through top staff and failing to handle the pressures of the job. He wrote that she was not ready to be president.
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