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McConnell campaign mgr. says he's 'holdin' my nose' during campaign

by WHAS11


Posted on August 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 8 at 5:48 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Another recording has surfaced involving U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign and this time his campaign manager, Jesse Benton, is coming under fire for the remarks.

In a secretly recorded phone call between Benton and Dennis Fusaro, a one-time aide to former representative Ron Paul, father of Senator Rand Paul, Benton is heard saying he was running the race to benefit Senator Paul in a 2016 election bid.

The conversation took place earlier in 2013 but surfaced nationally on Thursday, Aug. 8.  At no point in the conversation was Benton told he was recorded.

"Between you and me, I'm sort of holdin' my nose for two years because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16, so that's my long vision," Benton said.

In a statement released on Thursday Benton said "... it is truly sick that someone would record a private phone conversation I had out of kindness and use it to try to hurt me. I believe in Senator McConnell and am 100 percent committed to his re-election."

A tweet by the McConnell campaign Thursday afternoon reading "RT if you agree: Nothing smells worse than #Obamacare! #Nosegate" aimed to poke fun at the remark. In the tweeted image, Benton is seen holding his nose while McConnell smiles and points at him.

The remark quickly gained national attention Thursday and one of McConnell's opponents wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity.

Sarah Durand with the Matt Bevin campaign team released the following statement: "Even Mitch McConnell's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, thinks something stinks with the Mitch McConnell campaign.  His admission that he is 'holding (his) nose for two years' while he works for McConnell shows that even McConnell's top guy realizes that his boss is not a true conservative, and after nearly 30 years of voting for big-government and big-spending bills, does not deserve to be reelected. Fortunately, Kentucky voters have a real conservative in this race that all Republicans can be proud to support--Matt Bevin."

Benton is married to a granddaughter of Ron Paul and served as chairman of his 2012 presidential campaign.