Jesse Benton Responds to Taped Phone Conversation That Seems to Question his Dedication to Sen. Mitch McConnell [UPDATED]


As a sort of addendum to a scandal being dribbled out over the past few days at Iowa Republican arguing that Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson was paid off by people working for the Ron Paul campaign (without Ron Paul's knowledge) to switch his endorsement from Michele Bachmann (a move that, as I argued back in January 2012, may well have ended up hurting Paul in the beauty contest vote by helping Rick Santorum), Iowa activist (and former Paul campaign and Right to Work campaign worker) Dennis Fusaro released a tape of a conversation he had with Benton in which Benton seems to question the depth of his devotion to McConnell: "I am, well between you and me, I'm sort of holding my nose for two years, 'cause what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in 16 so.  That's my long vision."

Full story from Iowa Republican.

An emailed reaction from Benton that I received this afternoon says: "It is truly sick that someone would record a private phone conversation I had out of kindness and use it to try to hurt me. I believe in Senator McConnell and am 100 percent committed to his re-election. Being selected to lead his campaign is one of the great honors of my life and I look forward to victory in November of 2014."

Washington Post on this story today.

Sorenson was also apparently being paid by Bachmann for his earlier efforts on her behalf, in possible violation of Senate ethics rules.

I blogged last week on Benton, McConnell, and the meaning of a former Paul campaign boss working for McConnell last month.

UPDATE: Sen. McConnell appears to be taking this pretty lightly, from this Instagram image tweeted by @team_mitch today, which shows Benton and Sen. McConnell together, holding their noses and smiling