With the May primary inching closer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s enemies are lining up to help Republican challenger Matt Bevin.
FreedomWorks PAC announced Wednesday morning it was joining the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project in endorsing Bevin, marking a new entrant into McConnell’s declared war on conservative fundraising groups.
“For far too long, Mitch McConnell has sat on the sidelines of pivotal fights, helping the Democrats pass unprecedented surveillance powers, the TARP/Wall Street bailout, numerous tax hikes and debt ceiling increases and Medicare Part D,” Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks president, said in a statement.
Kibbe also accused McConnell of orchestrating the “McConnell-Reid sellout bargain to increase the debt limit and fully fund a broken health care law, getting a $1.2 billion ‘special project kickback’ in the process.”
“Kentucky deserves better, and looking at the dropping poll numbers for McConnell, there’s no reason to settle,” Kibbe said.
McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said Freedomworks was once a “constructive partner in the conservative movement” but now has changed its focus to “conservative canibalism in order to pay the bills.”
“So today, instead of standing with Kentucky conservatives, a group that used to pride itself on grassroots empowerment has endorsed a self-funding New England millionaire who takes taxpayer bailouts and falsely claims he attended MIT,” Moore said.
After watching the last two election cycles as conservative groups backed candidates who then lost general elections to Democrats, McConnell is using his own re-election fight as a proxy war against the fundraising groups.
Polling by various groups shows Bevin trailing McConnell by a significant margin, and the challenger’s fundraising efforts continue to pale in comparison to McConnell’s campaign war chest.
With the help of the SCF, Bevin raised about $900,000 in the last quarter of 2013. McConnell’s fundraising numbers for the last quarter have not been made public.