Mitch McConnell‘s campaign manager for what is shaping up to be a serious fight at both the primary and general election level is not helping his candidate.
In a phone conversation secretly reccorded, Jesse Benton, who may not be running McDonnell’s campaign much longer, said he is “sorta holding my nose” when it comes to working for the bombastic Kentucky Republican Senator.
His remarks brought the sharks out of the woodwork over the weekend.
“I think Jesse spoke for Republicans here in Kentucky and all across the country when he said he had to hold his nose to support Senator McDonnell,” Matt Hoskins, spokesman for the Senate Conservative Fund, told the National Journal. “McConnell’s liberal record and his failure on key issues is very disappointing.”
No more disappointing, of course, than the stunt Dennis Fusaro pulled. Fusaro, who worked with Benton on Ron Paul‘s 2012 failed Presidential campaign last year, secretly recorded and posted last Thursday on the Economic Policy Journal’s web site.
Between you and me, I’m sorta holding my nose for two years,” Benton said in the phone call.
Benton now calls Fusaro’s stunt “truly sick” and he and McConnell posted photos of each holding their noses but sources close to McConnell tell Capitol Hill Blue that pressure is mounting on the Senator to dump Benton.
McConnell hired Benton as a peace offering to Senator Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son and an often-mentioned contender for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016. McConnell supported Paul’s opponent in the 2010 open seat Senate race in Kentucky.
Rand Paul’s win in Kentucky was seen as repudiation of both McConnell and traditional GOP politics in the bluegrass state.