McConnell Tweets Support for 'Nosegate' Campaign Manager

Friday, 09 Aug 2013 11:00 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brushed off negative comments campaign manager Jesse Benton made about working with him, sending out a tweet Thursday poking fun at the incident.

"If you agree: Nothing smells worse than #Obamacare!" the senator's staff tweeted from his campaign account late Thursday. Attached to the tweet was a "NoseGate" photo of Benton pinching his notes standing next to a grinning McConnell.

Benton was caught on tape in a phone recording obtained by EconomicPolicyJournal.com and posted Thursday describing his work running the Republican leader's re-election campaign as "holding my nose."



Speaking to conservative activist and former Texas Rep. Ron Paul staffer Dennis Fusaro in January of this year, Benton said, "Between you and me, I'm sorta holding my nose for two years because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to [Kentucky Sen.] Rand [Paul] in '16, so that's my long vision."

Sen. Rand Paul is widely believed to be getting ready to launch a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Benton backtracked on those remarks Thursday, saying in a statement, "I believe in Senator McConnell and am 100 percent committed to his re-election. Being selected to lead his campaign is one of the great honors of my life and I look forward to victory in November of 2014."

McConnell faces tea party challenger Matt Bevin in the primary. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has also thrown her hat into the ring.

The five-time senator reportedly hired Benton, who previously worked as Sen. Rand Paul's campaign manager in 2010 and led Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign, to help boost support from conservatives.

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