McConnell Plays Rand Paul Card in Re-Election Bid

Image: McConnell Plays Rand Paul Card in Re-Election Bid

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 07:20 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be calculating that he has a better chance of becoming majority leader if he avoids attacking his tea party opponent Matt Bevin in the GOP primary and links his re-election bid to Kentucky's more conservative junior senator Rand Paul.

"It's complicated," says political columnist Ronnie Ellis, writing in The Richmond Register.

Ellis recalls that in 2010, McConnell supported former Secretary of State Trey Grayson against the tea party's Rand Paul. Now, Jesse Benton, who is Paul's nephew and a family operative, serves as McConnell's campaign manager.

Paul endorsed McConnell in March and now the two are being portrayed in TV campaign ads sponsored by the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition as working hand-in-hand to stop Obamacare, Politico reports.

The ad's narrator declares: "For Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, fighting Obamacare isn't about politics. It's a fight for the Kentucky families who are losing their health coverage. McConnell and Paul are working together to stop Obamacare – to stop the Washington liberals who are forcing families out of plans that include the doctors they trust."

The spot goes on, "McConnell and Paul say: Start over, repeal this bad law and cut costs, not choice."

In March, a print ad sponsored by McConnell also promoted their joint opposition to Obamacare.

The new alliance between the two is beginning to show up in other ways, according to The Washington Post even though McConnell has been speaking out against some tea party elements saying they are spoiling the Republican brand.

For example, the two are expected to vote this week against the bipartisan budget deal negotiated between Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan.

They have also jointly proposed to amend the workplace discrimination bill with the aim of creating a national right-to-work law.

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