Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signs on to Rand Paul 2016

Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for Rand Paul’s potential 2016 presidential campaign in a wide-ranging interview with the Lexington Herald-Reader after Tuesday night’s Republican sweep of key Senate races and McConnell’s own stunning defeat of his Democratic challenger.

From the interview:

McConnell also is intrigued by Paul’s plans for 2016, when Kentucky’s junior senator faces re-election to his Senate seat while potentially running for president.

It’s a safe bet that Paul won’t be the only member of McConnell’s GOP caucus who considers trying for a move to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Does that require a tricky balance?

“(It’s) not tricky at all,” McConnell said. “Obviously, I’m a big supporter of Rand Paul. We’ve developed a very tight relationship, and I’m for him.”

For president?

“Whatever he decides to do,” McConnell said. “I don’t think he’s made a final decision on that. But he’ll be able to count on me.”

Paul endorsed McConnell in early 2013, months before McConnell’s tea party-backed primary challenger — Matt Bevin — materialized. McConnell trounced Bevin in the May an almost 2-to-1 margin.

Mitch McConnell and the “Republican brand”

TL;DR: Mitch McConnell feels threatened by principled conservatives and feels that they’re ruining the “Republican brand” by challenging him and other establishment Republicans. But really, the “Republican brand” is in shambles, and it’s time to re-define that brand to return to small-government principles.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) isn’t a happy camper these days. He’s locked in both a contentious primary and general election fight, losing rule battles against his Democratic counterpart, and has to contend with some members of his own party who are constantly willing to stand on principle, rather than the party line.

“The ‘Republican brand’ was severely damaged several years ago. That was largely due to dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush, an unpopular war, and corruption in Congress.”

The rise of the Tea Party movement and conservative organizations have created havoc for McConnell and Republican leadership in the chamber, who enjoyed mostly distant rumblings from the political right in the past. But over the last few months, there has been a tiff between the Kentucky Republican and the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) that has now boiled over into the public.

Business groups tell EPA to leave fracking regulation to the states


Radical environmentalists are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to heavily regulate or ban hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”), the process employed to extract shale oil and natural gas from underground sources, which could undermine a thriving part of the post-recession economy.

The fracking boom has been one of the success stories in an otherwise tepid American economy, which is still trying to recover five years after a deep recession. Just last month Bloomberg Businessweek covered a recent study by IHS CERA that showed the significant economic benefits of fracking.

“In 2012, the energy boom supported 2.1 million jobs, added almost $75 billion in federal and state revenues, contributed $283 billion to the gross domestic product and lifted household income by more than $1,200,” noted Bloomberg Businessweek. “The competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers from lower fuel prices will raise industrial production by 3.5 percent by the end of the decade, said the report from CERA, which provides business advice for energy companies.”

The Wall Street Journal noted last week that the United States is “overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas,” producing the “equivalent of about 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels in July” compared to the 21.8 million barrels produced by our former Cold War foe.

Chatting with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY)

Thomas Massie

“[T]he House and the Senate control the purse strings. It’s the only check that we have besides some oversight on the Executive Branch. And so I’m going to be part of that group that goes into this August recess and goes back home and says, ‘I will not vote for a continuing resolution that funds ObamaCare.’” - Rep. Thomas Massie

The last couple of election cycles have led to several interesting, liberty-minded Republicans being sent to Congress. On Tuesday, United Liberty had a chance to chat with one of those Republicans, Rep. Thomas Massie, who represents Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District.

Elected last year with strong supports from grassroots groups, Massie quickly established his libertarian tendencies by taking strong stands for civil liberties and economic freedom. He’s an approachable guy and very down to Earth.

Along with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Massie fought hard to get a vote last week on an amendment to the defense appropriations bill to defund the National Security Agency’s broad surveillance of American citizens.

Massie offered an inside baseball account of how a vote on the amendment, which was offered by Amash, came to pass in the face of fierce opposition from President Barack Obama, congressional leaders from both parties and the nation’s security apparatus.

McConnell slams Obama’s war on coal

The coal industry is a pretty big deal in several states that could serve as electoral battlefields next year. Kentucky is among them.

Even though Democrats believe that have a chance to pickoff Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year, President Barack Obama handed him a huge gift last week when he rolled out his anti-consumer energy plan, which is being labeled by opponents as a “war on coal.” Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, another coal producing state, took it even further, calling President Obama’s a plan a “war on America.”

McConnell is seizing on President Obama’s energy plan, which completely bypasses Congress. In an op-ed to the Hazard Herald, a Kentucky-based newspaper, the Senate Minority Leader slammed the “barrage of job-killing regulations” pushed by the Obama Administration and warned Democrats of alienating “entire regions of the country” with the new environmental regulations.

The Liberty Movement is Not for Sale

The rise of the Liberty Movement has had a strong impact on American politics. The 2010 mid-terms and primary races in the current cycle have showed that the grassroots base is not going to stand silently by while the Republican establishment chooses politics over principle.

Some have explained that the Liberty Movement is in the midst of a “hostile takeover” of the GOP. And while we have seen overwhelming success — far more than pundits predicted, there are constant reminders that the establishment is trying to leave its mark on our movement.

Perhaps the best example came yesterday with news of Jesse Benton, who served as chairman of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, signing on to run Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election in 2014.

“Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements, and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign,” Senator Mitch McConnell told the Washington Post.

Rand Paul v. Trey Greyson Debate Reveals The Choices The GOP Faces In The Future

As I noted last night, C-Span broadcast the final debate between the Republican candidates for Senate in Kentucky, and it was quite a thing to watch:

Looking for an opening a week before the Kentucky Senate Republican primary, Trey Grayson used the final debate Monday night to hammer Rand Paul as weak on national security and unreliable on cultural issues

Grayson, who is trailing in the polls, was on the offensive for much of the hour-long session, saying Paul didn’t believe a nuclear-armed Iran was a threat to America, once backed closing the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was insufficiently opposed to abortion.

Paul shot back by accusing Grayson of distorting his views and running a dishonest, failing campaign.

But the more fundamental disagreement on display throughout the forum, which aired statewide on Kentucky public television, was an extension of the central dispute that has defined the closely watched contest and is dividing establishment and insurgent Republicans nationally: should the party hew to a purist line on fiscal issues, slashing spending and reducing the role of Washington, even if that means taking political risks that may be unpopular with the general electorate?

The contrasts between the two candidates, and between the two strains of the Republican Party, couldn’t be more extreme:

Paul called for eliminating the Department of Education.

“If you send less money to Washington, you’ll have more in your state for education,” he said.

But Grayson said there was a role for Washington in education, citing both the capital needs of the state’s public universities and the students who need tuition assistance.

Rand Paul Has Kentucky Senate Election In The Bag

Rand Paul is the next Senator of Kentucky. The election is all but wrapped up.

Most people will immediately respond that it is way too early to make such a statement; how can we possibly know what will happen over the next nine to ten months? I will concede the point that we can never be sure how an election will turn out ten months before the vote, but all evidence points towards a Rand Paul win come November.

1) Polling
Rand has seen meteoric rise in the polls over the past five months. He went from losing 26-37 in August to establishment pick Trey Grayson, to leading Grayson 44-25 in December. Also, while he was picking up this lead there was an increasing number of undecided voters from 17% in August to 32% in December. The momentum is clearly on Rand Paul’s side.

2) Campaign
From the beginning Rand has arguably run a stronger campaign. Despite never being elected to office in Kentucky, Paul had the advantage of being Congressman Ron Paul’s son. This allowed him to make his announcement on national television that he would be running for Senate. While Trey Grayson attacked this as an example of how Paul was an “outsider” to Kentucky, the famous comeback by Paul swung this war of words in his favor, “I’ve been a Kentuckian longer than Grayson’s been a Republican!”

Rand Paul leads potential Dem opponents in Kentucky

On the heels of a poll showing Rand Paul with a 19 point lead over Trey Grayson for the GOP nomination for United States Senate in Kentucky comes another survey showing both Republicans with modest leads over their potential Democratic opponents, Jack Conway and Dan Mongiardo.

Rand Paul v. Jack Conway

  • Paul: 42%
  • Conway: 36%
  • Not sure: 22%

Rand Paul v. Dan Mongiardo

  • Paul: 42%
  • Mongiardo: 36%
  • Not sure: 22%

Trey Grayson v. Jack Conway

  • Grayson: 40%
  • Conway: 33%
  • Not sure: 27%

Trey Grayson v. Dan Mongiardo

  • Grayson: 44%
  • Mongiardo: 35%
  • Not sure: 21%

According to a press release that came across last night, Rand Paul will also make his entrance into the race official by filing his paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

SurveyUSA: Rand Paul leads Trey Grayson

According a new SurveyUSA/WHAS poll, Rand Paul is leading Republican establishment candidate Trey Grayson.

  • 32% Grayson
  • 35% Paul
  • 2% Johnson
  • 1% Oerther
  • 3% Thoney
  • 10% Other
  • 18% Undecided

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