Paul moves to help McConnell shore up GOP base as Grimes courts disaffected Republicans

05/23/2014 03:35 PM

In a reversal of roles from 2010, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is looking to Sen. Rand Paul to help him reunite the GOP after Tuesday’s primary as Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes offers herself as an option to Republicans who didn’t vote for McConnell.

Both McConnell and Paul are using the president as a common narrative to bring the factions of the party back together.

“People say, ‘oh you’re so much different,’ We voted together 87 percent of the time we co-sponsored 144 bills together. Are we exactly the same, no we’re a little bit different. In fact I think he was right 87 percent of the time and he may think the opposite, that I was right 87 percent of the time,” Paul said.

“The thing is if we compare our voting record to Ms. Grimes I might agree with her 10 percent of the time,” Paul continued.

McConnell’s GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin has not explicity said he will support McConnell after being dealt a 60 to 35 percent defeat in Tuesday’s primary election. But, Bevin has said that he will not support Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes sent an open letter to Bevin’s voters and independents to join her campaign and oust McConnell from the Senate.

“Yes, we are in different parties, and we have divergent views on some issues. But if you believe that we need a fresh face to shake up Washington, I invite you to join our campaign,” Grimes wrote. “If you believe that it is past time to give Mitch McConnell and his D.C. lobbyist cronies the boot, I welcome you to join our effort to elect an independent, commonsense problem solver who will fight for Kentucky values.”

McConnell was asked about the letter at Friday’s press conference, and he replied saying he encouraged Grimes to continue her pitch to Republicans.

“I hope she’ll spend all of her time trying to get Republicans to vote for her. That’s a great expenditure of her money and her time,” McConnell said. “I recommend that she continue to get Republicans to vote for her going into November.”

Bevin fired back a letter of his own to Grimes Friday afternoon saying her letter “illustrates a lack of understanding about the principles that united my campaign’s supporters.”

“While there were indeed many negative and untrue things said about me and my family in recent months, and while there will certainly be similar false charges levied against you, I challenge you to rise above such drivel and focus on the real issues,” Bevin wrote in his letter.

“In order for any senatorial candidate to appeal to conservatives, it is imperative that the primary focus be on upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States of America. Not sometimes, but all the time,” he wrote.


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