Group: Boehner, McConnell 'hostile' to conservatives

5:42 PM ET, Dec 16, 2013
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First, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Conservatives Fund got upset with each other. Now it's House Speaker John Boehner's turn to spark the group's rage.

In an e-mail to supporters, the organization portrays Boehner and McConnell as public enemy No. 1. The Senate Conservatives Fund urges supporters to back their five 2014 candidates, such as Matt Bevin who is challenging McConnell in a GOP primary.

"These Republican leaders are attacking conservatives because they don't like it when the grassroots hold them accountable," reads the e-mail from Matt Hoskins, the group's executive director. "These Republicans have been in Washington too long and they're no longer willing to fight for our principles. They're hostile to the people who elected them."

The subject line on the e-mail, which doubles as a fundraising pitch: "Punched in the Nose." The line is taken from McConnell's recent comments to the Washington Examiner, in which he referred to the group as "schoolyard bullies" and said he'd like to give them a punch in the nose.

Boehner made headlines last week when he lashed out at the Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks for "misleading their followers" and criticizing the bipartisan two-year budget deal that easily passed the House.

"Frankly, I just think they've lost all credibility," Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

It was a noteworthy moment for Boehner, who normally doesn't express his ire in such blunt fashion. Or, as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said, "John just kind of got his Irish up."

Allison Moore, a spokeswoman for McConnell's campaign committee, compared the Senate Conservatives Fund to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which tries to elect Democrats. Both, she said, are "misleading" Republicans.

The Senate Conservatives Fund "has the audacity to claim they're working for conservatives as they exclusively attack our own," Moore said.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is also supporting GOP candidates Chris McDaniel in Mississippi (against Sen. Thad Cochran, the second-longest-serving Republican), Ben Sasse in Nebraska, Milton Wolf in Kansas (against third-term Sen. Pat Roberts) and Rob Maness in Louisiana.



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