Tea party groups in Kentucky have finally united behind one candidate. Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin today is declaring a primary challenge to Mitch McConnell. He’s going after McConnell’s record in the Senate. Having talked to a number of tea party groups in Kentucky, they are pretty united around this challenge for now.McConnell is wasting no time responding to Bevin with an attack ad calling him Bailout Bevin.I’m just not sure that’s the wisest first attack from McConnell given that McConnell authored it and pushed it through the Senate by loading it with sweetheart deals. From Congressional Quarterly:
The Senate’s top Democrat and Republican saved the 2008 financial industry bailout with a maneuver that only two confident insiders would dare propose. Although the House had rejected the $700 billion package amid complaints that it was too large, the Senate leaders made it even bigger.Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell added $150 billion in tax breaks for individuals and businesses and a boost in mental health coverage, sweeteners that enticed the House to clear the package the second time around. The gambit headed off what then-Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said would have been an economic catastrophe.
And from Bluegrass Politics:
On the verge of the Senate’s vote on the $700 billion bailout bill, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made one last pitch to his colleagues to support the legislation, which he praised for being born of bipartisan cooperation.McConnell, noting that both presidential candidatesBarack Obama and John McCain returned for the vote, said the negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders to forge a compromise have been “unprecedented.”“I think it is one of the finest moments in the history of the Senate,” he said just before the vote, which began shortly after 9 p.m.The measure passed overwhelmingly, 74-25, with bipartisan support, including McCain and Obama.McConnell, followed by Democratic Senate LeaderHarry Reid, said the compromise reached the passage "illustrates how well we’ve worked together on a bipartisan basis to try to address the difficult crisis.“
Matt Bevin will speak at the RedState Gathering in New Orleans.