Richard Viguerie: Big Government Mitch McConnell, Fearing Conservatives, Hires a Character Witness
MANASSAS, Va., Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, issued the following statement regarding Jesse Benton's new role in the 2014 re-election campaign of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
"Could there be two more polar opposites in Republican politics than Congressman Ron Paul and Senator Mitch McConnell?
"Senator McConnell is the ultimate Washington insider. He began his political career as an intern on Capitol Hill and, for almost 30 years, has steeped himself in the art of compromise and deal-making, as he steadily worked his way up the Senate GOP hierarchy. As Senate Republican leader, McConnell is the kind of 'Richard Lugar Republican' that Tea Partiers and movement conservatives tend to think should be replaced.
"Ron Paul has been the GOP's lone warrior, who for some three decades has trod an almost solitary path urging the Party to become more libertarian and constitutionalist. Despite occasional stumbles, such as endorsing Alaska's big spending earmarker Don Young for re-election, Representative Paul has maintained a singular devotion to his principles.
"This makes the whole idea that Jesse Benton--Senator Rand Paul's campaign manager and chairman of Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign--would play the same role for Senator McConnell seem preposterous.
"The match between McConnell and Benton is particularly odd given that Capitol Hill's establishment Republicans, especially on the Senate side, know only one way of winning elections: raise a lot of money from special interests and buy a lot of negative ads on TV. This is the exact opposite of how Ron and Rand Paul sustained their grassroots campaigns.
"Of course, one of the great things about America is that there is a largely free market for labor and we are all entitled to pursue our own economic interest and sell our services to the highest bidder.
"It appears one of the things Benton was hired to do is to try to convince conservatives and Tea Partiers that McConnell is really a conservative who doesn't deserve the kind of primary challenge that establishment GOP Senators Richard Lugar and Orrin Hatch received this election cycle.
"To paraphrase Sky Masterson, the Marlon Brando character in the movie Guys and Dolls, 'Jesse, don't pour cider in my ear and tell me it's raining.'
"McConnell is no conservative, and his tendency to craft insider deals to try to finesse hard votes on issues with clear conservative principles at stake, such as raising the debt ceiling, is one of the primary reasons that Capitol Hill Republicans are held in such low regard by the American public--and especially by Tea Partiers and grassroots conservatives.
"McConnell opposed both Marco Rubio and Rand Paul in their primary elections. Now, he feels the hot breath of the voters who swept them into office and has decided to hire someone from Ron Paul's organization to help him fend off the expected challenge and to serve as a character witness for him with conservatives.
"If there is one thing Mitch McConnell and the establishment Republican leadership of Capitol Hill have shown since the 2010 election, it is that they are still not willing to fight for small government constitutional principles. Senator McConnell's decision to hire one guy to run his re-election campaign, who may or may not be a small government constitutional conservative at heart, doesn't change that."
NOTE TO EDITORS: Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, pioneered political direct mail and has been called "one of the creators of the modern conservative movement" (The Nation) and one of the "conservatives of the century"(Washington Times). He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.
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