A major GOP donor who told Breitbart News Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made disparaging remarks about the Tea Party movement and about Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) continues to stand by his original story after claims that the reports were not accurate.
This individual reported that on the Oct. 30 fundraising call American Crossroads’ Karl Rove and Steven J. Law held with McConnell, “McConnell specifically talked about Mike Lee by name, specifically talked about Ted Cruz by name, and he specifically talked about the Tea Party by name,” the donor told Breitbart News in response to a story Rove’s and McConnell’s teams have purported shows otherwise.
That story, published by Charlie Spiering at The Washington Examiner earlier on Friday, confirms that McConnell “criticized conservative groups who supported the plan to defund Obamacare” and that he also criticized those conservatives who “are now actively working to defeat him in Kentucky.” The article adds that McConnell “repeatedly mentioned the Senate Conservatives Fund by name.”
Spiering, who says he was exclusively provided a 27-minute audio file of the call, reports that McConnell did, as Breitbart News’ source said, talk about dealing with conservative “schoolyard bullies” by “punching them in the nose.” While the article states those specific remarks were made “explicitly” about the Senate Conservatives Fund, he also reports that on the call Senator McConnell “criticized” other “conservative groups who supported the plan to defund Obamacare.” However, the Tea Party is certainly the pre-eminent conservative group that spearheaded, along with Senators Cruz and Lee, the plan to defund Obamacare.
In response to the Washington Examiner’s report, Breitbart News’ source also noted that McConnell’s comments at the Senate Conservatives Fund were in a broader context of an attack on the movement.
“McConnell did tie it all together with the Senate Conservatives Fund with which McConnell had a major problem,” the donor said. “The Senate Conservatives Fund was just one part of a broader attack.”
Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer said it does not matter whether those “bullies” and “punch them in the nose” remarks McConnell made on the call were specifically aimed at Senate Conservatives Fund or whether they were general to the grassroots movement; the conclusion Tea Partiers should take away is the same.
“An attack on SCF or any Tea Party organization or Ted Cruz or Mike Lee is an attack on all of us,” Kremer said in a phone interview Friday afternoon.
This is nothing new. They continue to attack us and I don’t understand why when Harry Reid just invoked the nuclear option yesterday and Obamacare is crumbling at the seams and we should have them on the run. Why are they now attacking the Tea Party movement? They need to remember that John Boehner and the Republicans would not be in control of the House if it weren’t for the Tea Party movement and the conservative grassroots movement. I know that Leader McConnell is up for re-election but the Tea Party movement is strong in his state. There is already a Tea Party Senator in the state of Kentucky that defeated the establishment candidate in the primary. So it’s silly to go and attack Tea Partiers and conservative grassroots because they’ve already proven themselves strongly there in the state of Kentucky as well as the state of Texas and other places across the country. You cannot win without us. To continue to attack us is like, it’s just ridiculous. At the end of the day, we all know what it’s about: It’s about power, control and money. It’s what makes Washington tick. The grassroots outside is having a huge influence in them losing them, and we all know that Washington doesn’t like to lose control.
Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin concurs.
“Why would Senator Mitch McConnell want to ‘punch in the nose’ the millions of patriotic moms, grandmoms and veterans who stand up for America through the Tea Party and groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund?” Martin said in an emailed statement to Breitbart News. “The people supporting SCF are the same people going to Tea Party meetings and rallies across the country. We elect our representatives to represent us, not to threaten us with physical violence during secret meetings with Karl Rove’s friends.”
Martin added that “everything” Tea Partiers said “about Obamacare turned out to be true,” but instead of “thanking the Tea Party, or standing with us, the Republican establishment—led by Mitch McConnell—is threatening to punch us in the nose.”
“If they’ve got so much fight in them, then where were they when we needed them to stand up and fight against Obamacare?” Martin said.
Martin also added a specific defense of the Senate Conservatives Fund.
“Tea Party Patriots shares Senate Conservatives Fund’s goal of holding establishment Republicans accountable, and specifically, we shared the goal of defunding Obamacare,” Martin said.