Tea party-backed candidate Matt Bevin took to national TV Monday for a last-ditch attack on incumbent Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, warning that he just “pretends” to be conservative to win re-election.
“He’s not a conservative. He just pretends to be one every six years in order to try to trick his way back into the U.S. Senate,” Mr. Bevin, a Louisville businessman, said of his opponent on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.”
Mr. McConnell, a 30-year Senate veteran who is the Republican minority leader in the chamber, is expected to cruise to victory in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Kentucky. He leads Mr. Bevin by about 20 points in recent polls.
But the stinging attacks from Mr. Bevin have scarred Mr. McConnell, who likely will head to a tough general election fight against the Democratic candidate, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
“People are hungry for someone who is real. They are hungry for something that is not the same plastic nonsense that has cause us to have such little respect for our political process and our political officials,” Mr. Bevin said. “There is a McConnell fatigue that will be thrown off, I believe, in this race.”
Mr. Bevin has repeatedly challenged the incumbent’s conservative credentials despite Mr. McConnell receiving endorsements this year from several conservative groups, including the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association and National Right to Life.
The junior senator from Kentucky, tea party champion Rand Paul, also endorsed Mr. McConnell for re-election.
“Senator McConnell has always been a conservative. And I say that sincerely: He has always been a conservative,” Mr. Paul said. “If you said, ‘Is he someone who believes in smaller government, lower taxes, less regulation?’ I think he’s been consistently that throughout his career.”
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