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Democrats are pounding McConnell with a new ad even as he gains a tea party challenge
It was pretty obvious yesterday that Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin would launch a tea party-backed primary challenge of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but today his political team made it official:
A tea party activist who has signaled that he intends to begin a campaign to take on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's GOP primary in Kentucky has now removed all doubt.

An aide to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin distributed a press advisory on Tuesday announcing stops on a statewide tour "announcing his candidacy" for Senate.

Kentucky's junior senator Rand Paul reiterated his endorsement of McConnell, but also said he would not discourage Bevin from running. Meanwhile, a coalition of Kentucky tea party groups urged national tea party organizations to drop their support for McConnell:
"Senator McConnell’s Progressive Liberal voting record, his absolute iron fisted rule over the Republican Party in Kentucky and his willingness to roll over and cede power to President Obama and the Liberals in Washington, prove that he is no friend to the American people or the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," the letter says.

"Your endorsement undermines the work of the real grassroots Tea Party organizations all over Kentucky," the letter continues.  "Had you taken the time to reach out to us, you would have learned that the Tea Parties in Kentucky do NOT support Senator McConnell’s campaign."

Progressive liberal? Oh my. These guys are so off the deep end that I'm beginning to think they may actually have a shot of winning this primary for Bevin.

McConnell's campaign is already attacking Bevin, calling him an "East coast con man" for accepting a $100,000 grant from Connecticut to rebuild his family's bell manufacturing business after it burned to the ground following a lightning strike. Bevin-land fired back in response:

"Mitch McConnell is bringing up the loan Matt received to help rebuild his factory because McConnell doesn't want to talk about all the bailouts in his voting record," said Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand, "such as the Wall Street bailout and the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

"If Mitch McConnell had ever run a business or worked in the private sector, he would recognize what a commendable thing Matt did: He took a nearly bankrupt company, turned it around, saved American jobs and kept a historic bell manufacturing company in America," Durand, the Louisville Tea Party President continued.  "Sadly, Mitch McConnell is so out of touch, he doesn’t even understand that saving American jobs is a good thing."

So not only do we get the pleasure of munching popcorn during a GOP primary that will obviously be deliciously bitter, we also get to enjoy the spectacle of a businessman defending the use of public funds to create jobs while simultaneously attacking Mitch McConnell as a liberal. And with Kentucky's primary not taking place until May 2014, we've got nearly 10 more months of this to look forward to. Fun times.

10:25 AM PT: And some more fun:

.@MattBevin #KySen campaign e-mail: "Without the lies that come with his character assassinations, Mitch McConnell cannot win an election"

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos.

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