After former Representative Ron Paul’s latest foray into Presidential politics ended last year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) quickly snapped up Paul’s maverick campaign aide Jesse Benton in a bid to increase his Tea Party appeal. But despite his attempts to broaden his Tea Party support, many conservatives have lost faith in McConnell.
That’s the message coming from the Tea Party-affiliated Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization that believes the Senator has had a long and fruitful career, but fears that he may lack the support to face Democratic challenger Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the upcoming election.
“Mitch McConnell is now the least electable Republican senator running for re-election in 2014,” Matt Hoskins, the executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, told The Washington Post this week. “He could lose this race and cost Republicans the majority. He needs to consider whether it might be time to hang it up.”
Hoskins’ organization has called out McConnell a number of times over the past several months, especially for cooperating with President Barack Obama on issues that are unpopular with many conservative voters.
In June, the Senate Conservatives Fund outlined three deals, touted by McConnell, that haven’t played well with American conservatives:
Deal #1 — Debt Limit Increase
Senator McConnell worked with President Obama to increase the debt limit by $2.4 trillion. Americans were promised all kinds of spending cuts and debt reduction commissions, but spending and debt still went up. [Vote #123, 8/2/11, McConnell “Aye”]
Deal #2 — Fiscal Cliff Tax Increase
Senator McConnell worked with President Obama to enact a fiscal cliff deal that lead to higher taxes on nearly 80% of American households. It raised income taxes, death taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, and payroll taxes — an increase of more than $600 billion. [Vote #251, 1/1/13, McConnell “Aye”]
Deal #2 — Obamacare Funding
Senator McConnell worked with President Obama to fund government operations, including Obamacare, for FY2013. An attempt was made to strip out Obamacare funding, but it was defeated. McConnell voted to pass the spending bill despite the fact that it included funding for Obamacare. [Vote #44, 03/20/13, McConnell “Aye”]
The organization has also criticized the Senator for not taking a strong vocal stance against the amnesty-laden immigration effort recently pushed through his legislative chamber, even as a handful of his Tea Party peers fought an uphill battle against the bill.
“Senator McConnell certainly has a lot of power, but the sad truth is he rarely uses that power to fight for conservative principles. He tells everyone in Kentucky he is powerful, but then pretends to be powerless against Obama’s agenda in Washington,” Hoskins said of the Senator.
But, don’t expect McConnell to kindly follow along with the conservative organization’s suggestion that he step aside.
“Any Republican who thinks Senator McConnell is vulnerable is living in an alternate universe, probably of their own creation,” said Benton, the campaign manager for McConnell’s 2014 race.