Conservatives warn McConnell they're watching him closely

 

McClatchy Newspapers

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell got his first big challenge from the right Wednesday, as the conservative group ForAmerica launched an ad questioning whether the Kentucky Republican is a true conservative.

McConnell, the leader of the Senate's 45 Republicans, is up for re-election next year. He negotiated a deal with Vice President Joe Biden last week to avoid the fiscal cliff. The package included tax increases on the wealthy and delayed automatic spending cuts two months.

"As negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were intensifying," the ad says, "conservatives called on McConnell and congressional Republicans to hold the line on tax rates and demand cuts to spending as they had promised."

instead, ForAmerica says, "when the deadline was looming, McConnell called Vice President Joe Biden and signed off on a deal with the White House that included tax increases and virtually no spending cuts."

So the group is urging people to sign a petition "to let McConnell and congressional Republicans know conservatives are watching and will hold accountable those who go against the principles they claim to support."

No candidate is mentioned. Despite his conservative record, McConnell is well aware that Tea Party conservatives can show strength in Kentucky. While no major Democrat is likely to challenge him, in 2010 the more conservative Rand Paul beat McConnell’s handpicked choice for the state’s other Senate seat, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, in the party primary.

In a November interview with McClatchy, McConnell said 2014 wasn’t foremost on his mind. “I don’t want to be overly confident here. I don’t own my seat,” he said. “My only concern right now is not what might happen in 2014 but what might happen in the next three or four weeks.”

Asked whether he’s running, he lets out a big smile. “I’m running. Read my lips, I’m running,” he said. And he’s embraced Paul, even hiring Jesse Benton, who ran the presidential campaign this year of Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to run the 2014 re-election effort.

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Lori Dole, owner of Castaways, talks about her business with Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Gary Peters, both D-Mich., during a Great Lakes jobs tour Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at Castaways in Bangor Township, Mich.

    Peters campaigning with Stabenow for 3rd day

    U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters is campaigning with Sen. Debbie Stabenow for a third straight day in Michigan.

  •  
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the killing of journalist James Foley in Syria during a statement in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. The president said the U.S. will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite Foley's brutal murder. Obama said he spoke Wednesday with Foley's family and offered condolences.

    US special ops tried but failed to find hostages

    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say.

  •  
Displaced Iraqis settle at a new camp outside the Bajid Kandala camp in Feeshkhabour town, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Some 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting in Iraq since the Islamic State's rapid advance began in June, and thousands more have died. The scale of the humanitarian crisis prompted the U.N. to declare its highest level of emergency last week.

    As US airstrikes in Iraq grow, details stay thin

    America has returned to war, of a sort, in Iraq with airstrikes that have intensified in recent days against Islamic State militants. But details about the execution of this limited campaign, which so far includes no reported U.S. ground combat, are thin.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category