Rubio Defies Tea Party, Endorses Mitch McConnell For Reelection
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over his Tea Party primary challenger:
Washington (CNN) - One-time tea party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said Sunday he supports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bid for re-election in 2014.
McConnell is facing a primary challenge in his home state of Kentucky from businessman Matt Bevin, who was endorsed by the influential Senate Conservatives Fund on Friday.
“Matt Bevin is a true conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are destroying our country. He is not afraid to stand up to the establishment and he will do what it takes to stop Obamacare,” Senate Conservatives Fund Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement.
But McConnell said he’s skeptical of attacks from the far-right.
“I’ve endured millions of dollars in attack ads that have called me a right-wing fanatic over the years. I think my opponents in the primary are going to have a hard time convincing Kentucky primary voters that I’m some kind of liberal,” McConnell said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
Rubio, himself facing flak from the far right over his stance on immigration reform, said McConnell is doing a good job in tough circumstances.
“I do support Sen. McConnell’s re-election. I think he’s trying to lead our conference. It’s a diverse conference with a lot of different opinions, and that’s a tough job to begin with. And then, of course, he’s got to represent his own state,” Rubio said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Despite the backing of some Tea Party groups, McConnell seems at this point to be relatively safe as far as a primary is concerned. This seems especially true when you see Senators like Rubio and Paul supporting him over a Tea Party candidate that has already made several mistakes in the opening moves of his campaign.