Tea Party Nation Backs McConnell, Declares War on Rival Conservatives

Image: Tea Party Nation Backs McConnell, Declares War on Rival Conservatives

Friday, 09 May 2014 11:14 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been given a boost by Tea Party Nation after it slammed tea party activist Matt Bevin as a "horrible candidate" and endorsed the incumbent in the GOP primary in Kentucky this month.

The group’s founder, Judson Phillips, revealed his backing on its website while apparently also declaring war on two rival tea party groups, the Madison Project and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Phillips had initially thrown his support behind McConnell last year for re-election, while saying that tea party favorite Bevin was "a fake conservative."

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But Phillips said that he withdrew his endorsement "after the government shutdown last year, and McConnell worked against Ted Cruz," the Texas senator who was blamed for causing the crisis in his efforts to defund Obamacare.

"Today, that has changed," he said on the group’s website. "Not only do I still believe Matt Bevin is a fake conservative, he is now an incredibly horrible candidate.

"One of the major strikes against Bevin is that he is backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project," Phillips wrote. Any "candidate backed by these two groups should probably be ignored by conservatives ... They pick candidates they want to back who have never held office before and have no record."

The Tea Party Nation boss scolded Bevin for attending a cockfighting event, and then allegedly lying about it before a TV station showed him a "gotcha" video of him in the crowd.

"Someone start sending buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken to Bevin’s campaign because like Colonel Sanders’ birds, stick a fork in him, he’s done," Phillips wrote. "Bevin is such a bad candidate that it makes it impossible not to support McConnell."

Apart from the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project, Bevin been endorsed by another conservative group, FreedomWorks.

The group's president, Matt Kibbe, told The Associated Press this week that whatever the outcome of the primary "we organize grass roots to change the behavior of the people already in office. That's the whole point of participating in the primary process."

AP said that McConnell, an establishment conservative, is "cruising" toward an easy victory in the primary as he seeks his sixth term in office.

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