Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is advising Tea Party activists to think twice before waging a primary challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell next year.
The freshman lawmaker was heavily backed by the Tea Party in his race for the Fourth Congressional District seat last year.
Massie is often mentioned as a potential 2014 Senate candidate, and has flexed a level of independence from the GOP establishment. He voted against Speaker John Boehner and recently opposed the Ryan budget plan because it wasn’t conservative enough.
But Massie has repeatedly turned down offers to run and told reporters on multiple occasions he isn’t interested.
And in an interview with WFPL, he says Tea Party activists in Kentucky who want to continue to have an impact on national politics should reconsider their opposition to McConnell.
“My advice to people who are frustrated with Washington is that there’s probably a better way to spend your time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears than trying to have Senator McConnell unelected. I think there are a lot better chances and better use of your time in terms of changing Washington, D.C.,” he says.
Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin has been a rumored primary challenger to McConnell in recent weeks. He is reportedly courting Tea Party groups, and is meeting with activists in Lexington sometime next week.
Massie says he is supporting McConnell for re-election and isn’t interested in meeting with Bevin at this point, adding no credible candidate has emerged to take on Kentucky’s senior senator.
“I think you’ve got a lot of Kentuckians who aren’t ready to vote for somebody new that won’t have the positions that Senator McConnell has. And certainly they’re not ready to vote for somebody with liberal positions like Ashley Judd,” he says.