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Another wedge between Paul and McConnell

by Joe Arnold


Posted on February 9, 2010 at 12:03 AM

Three months after Rand Paul refused to commit to Kentucky's Mitch McConnell  in a hypothetical contest with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)  for Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate, DeMint is complimenting Paul and calling out McConnell over who supports "real budget reform."

DeMint is chairman of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee "dedicated to electing strong conservatives to the United States Senate."   The fund lists Rand Paul as one of seven Republican candidates who are supporting two budget issues introduced by DeMint in the Senate, a one-year moratorium on earmarks and a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment that includes a two-thirds majority requirement for raising taxes.

And, the SCF website also calls out Republican senators who have not co-sponsored the legislation, including McConnell and Kentucky's junior senator, Jim Bunning (R-KY). 

DeMint had reportedly considered mounting a challenge to McConnell for Senate Minority Leader last January.  Paul refused to commit to McConnell in a WHAS11 November interview when I asked him about a DeMint challenge in 2011.

"I like both of them and I don't know that I could make a judgement. I have to win the primary first,"  Paul replied, " So I don't think I'd make a judgement on how I'd vote for leader, but I think obviously Kentucky having a leader is good for Kentucky."

Republican candidate Trey Grayson, who is backed by McConnell, blasted Paul's response.

"Senator Mitch McConnell been a very effective public servant for Kentucky, delivering on our priorities time and time again, but it’s maybe once in a generation that Kentucky will have the opportunity to have someone in Sen. McConnell’s leadership position in Washington.  I recognize the importance of that for the Commonwealth, and I will absolutely, 100% vote to keep Senator Mitch McConnell as GOP Leader in the Senate if I am elected.  I will always put Kentucky first.”