In the midst of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s lengthy floor speech against the president’s health care law, a tea party group is having second thoughts about endorsing GOP Leader Mitch McConnell for re-election next year.
Earlier today, McConnell rejected Cruz’s plan to filibuster the House spending bill which funds the government past Oct. 1 but does not pay for Obamacare.
“We’d all be hard pressed to explain how we’re against a bill we’re all in favor of,” McConnell told reporters.
But as a number of high-profiled conservatives—such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus—have come out to support Cruz’s floor speech, the Tea Party Nation that backed McConnell in July is publicly reconsidering that decision.
Mitch McConnell and his office have been very helpful to a number of Tea Party groups behind the scenes. They have done things they did not have to do to help the cause. Between those efforts and the very dubious history of his challenger, Tea Party Nation decided to endorse McConnell for reelection.
However, Obamacare is a bridge too far.
If Mitch McConnell is not going to support efforts to defund Obamacare and in fact is going to work against them, then Tea Party groups simply need to abandon him.
In McConnell’s view, it is a better strategy to hold a majority vote on the House measure thereby forcing Senate Democrats to restore funding for the health care law, which is less popular than it was earlier this year.
“Everybody knows where Republicans stand on this issue. We may be divided on some things. We may not always agree on tactics. But on the question of repealing Obamacare, we’re totally united,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “This law should be defunded. That’s what the House bill does. That’s why I plan to support it. “
Other conservatives, however, such as talk radio host Mark Levin have said McConnell “stabbed” Cruz in the back. And the senator’s Republican primary opponent Matt Bevin is quick to take advantage, saying he stands with Cruz.
The McConnell campaign has yet to respond to our request for comment.