Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’s campaign manager is furious that he was recorded saying in a phone conversation that he is only working for McConnell to shore up his the prospect of a 2016 presidential run by Kentucky’s other senator, Sen. Rand Paul (R). According to Talking Points Memo, Jesse Benton said that it’s “truly sick” that someone would use his own words against him.
“Between you and me,” Benton said in the recording, “I’m sorta holding my nose for two years. ‘Cause what we’re doing here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in ’16.”
Benton managed Paul’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2010.
In a statement to TPM on Wednesday, Benton wrote, “It is truly sick that someone would record a private phone conversation I had out of kindness and use it to try to hurt me. I believe in Senator McConnell and am 100 percent committed to his re-election. Being selected to lead his campaign is one of the great honors of my life and I look forward to victory in November of 2014.”
The call was recorded early this year on January 9 by Dennis Fusaro, a former aide to Rand Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Fusaro told the Weekly Standard that he held on to the recording in hopes that Benton would “do the right thing” with regards to recently surfaced evidence that Ron Paul bought a delegate in the 2012 Iowa caucus, paying an Iowa state senator to endorse his campaign over Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN).
Benton, however, opined Fusaro, “is incapable of doing the right thing.”
[Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]