McConnell Says GOP Should Fight Back Against Tea Party ‘Nonsense’

Sen. Mitch McConnell, himself a target of the Tea Party in 2014, is leading the fight against the hard-right wing of his own party.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, McConnell says it’s time for the GOP to stand up to the “nonsense” coming from the Tea Party.

McConnell worries that the Senate Conservatives Fund and other insurgent groups are pursuing a confrontational, uncompromising strategy that makes it impossible for conservatives to govern.

“The Senate Conservatives Fund is giving conservatism a bad name. They’re participating in ruining the [Republican] brand,” McConnell said. “What they do is mislead their donors into believing the reason that we can’t get as good an outcome as we’d like to get is not because of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, but because Republicans are insufficiently committed to the cause — which is utter nonsense.”

The outside groups, in McConnell’s view, are unaccountable and financially motivated and pose a threat to the Republican Party’s viability. The groups in 2010 and 2012 backed a handful of untested, ideological candidates in Republican primaries that couldn’t win general elections, costing the party opportunities to build a majority. It’s a threat that must be addressed ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections, McConnell said, because it’s repelling the very voters the GOP needs if it’s ever to take control of the federal government.