Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended himself Tuesday against a narrative that says he is opposed to the tea party movement.
“I’m a big fan of the tea party movement,” McConnell told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto, when asked about his criticism of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a tea party group which is backing a Republican primary challenge against him in Kentucky. “I think it’s been extremely important in helping us regain the House and do well in the Senate in 2010. There is one particular organization that I was talking about, which I think has been counterproductive.”
The Senate Conservative Fund is “one of a number of different tea party groups,” McConnell continued. “It is the one that I think has engaged in outrageous behavior that’s cost us seats. I’m a big fan of the tea party writ large. I think the whole movement is devoted to trying to do something about government spending and debt has been very, very helpful to the conservative cause.”
The Senate Conservatives Fund supported Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s failed “Defund Obamacare” strategy to stop President Obama’s health care law from being implemented. Republican opponents of the strategy, like McConnell, argued that the effort couldn’t possibly succeed so long as Democrats remain in control of the White House and the Senate.