Jesse Benton (left) and Mitch McConnell:  A joke now, but...
Jesse Benton (left) and Mitch McConnell: A joke now, but…

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.

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.