Did GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Say He Wanted to ‘Punch Tea Party Bullies in the Nose’?

Breitbart News has an explosive exclusive report about a recent conference call held by Karl Rove during which, Breitbart says, Senate GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) said that the tea partiers are “bullies” and he intends to “punch them in the nose.”

For Breitbart, Matthew Boyle writes that a strategy call was recently sponsored by Crossroads America, the GOP PAC headed up by anti-conservative and establishment guru Karl Rove, and on the call tea party activists and conservatives came in for harsh criticism by no less then leader McConnell himself.

Boyle writes that a participant on the call contacted him and said that McConnell attacked Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz by name. But what McConnell said at the end of the call was the most adversarial statement.

“McConnell said the Tea Party was ‘nothing but a bunch of bullies,’” the source said. “And he said ‘you know how you deal with schoolyard bullies? You punch them in the nose and that’s what we’re going to do.’”

Boyle did get a statement from Crossroad America’s Jonathan Collegio who denied the characterization of what McConnell said during the conference call.

“Your source is ascribing things to the call that simply were never said,” Collegio told Breitbart.

Collegia did not provide Breitbart with a recording of the call in question. However, Crossroads did allow a writer from the Washington Examiner hear the recording later that same day and the Examiner says that the Breibart report is not quite correct.

Later in the day after the Breitbart report was published, the Examiner’s Charlie Spiering claimed that he was allowed to listen to the 27-minute recording of the call and he reported that McConnell did not say that he wanted to “punch tea party bullies in the nose.”

“McConnell’s comments about dealing with ‘schoolyard bullies’ by punching them in the nose as reported by Breitbart News were accurate,” Spiering writes, “but were explicitly directed at the Senate Conservatives Fund, not the Tea Party or a specific conservative Senator.”

Spiering had a second point to make: “McConnell additionally criticized the failed fight to defund Obamacare which led to a government shutdown, a position consistent with his public remarks criticizing the government shutdown strategy.”

OK, so the upshot of this story is that the original report was taken from the faulty memory of a participant of the call, but it was <>i>not completely incorrect.

While McConnell may not have directly attacked the tea party or Senators Lee and Cruz by name he did attack the grassroots group that supports them and attacked their tactic of trying to defund Obamacare which resulted in the non-shutdown government shutdown that we experienced just before the total mess of Obamacare hit the news.

So, whether McConnell attacked the tea party or his fellow Senators by name or not, he did attack their supporters and everything they are doing.

There isn’t much difference, is there?

Whether McConnell directed his attacks specifically on the tea party or Lee and Cruz he did so obliquely and it shows that the ongoing war between Constitution-believing conservative tea partiers and the establishment wing of the GOP is still going strong.

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  • Brucehenry

    I’m on both their sides. I think they should fight this thing out, long, loud, and publicly, until all their issues are fully resolved.

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Both sides of an issue? What a surprise that is…

      • Brucehenry

        Useless potshot that misses the point, from ol’ Boar Tits? Another big surprise.

        • jim_m

          Come on Bruce. You fool no one with this “I’m on both their sides” bullshit. There is no universe where anyone believes that you agree with McConnell and everyone knows that you disagree with the TEA Party and it’s ideas.

          What you were really saying is that you would enjoy a nasty internecine battle on the right. Sorry, we’re too busy popping popcorn so we can enjoy your lord and savior, obama go down in flames.

          • Brucehenry

            Ya got me. You’re so discerning.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          Such shots from the hood ornament of the racist soi disant cognoscenti and veteran community amuse me deeply.

          Ha ha!

  • jim_m

    It isn’t that McConnell objects to the TEA Party platform of smaller government and less government spending, he does. But his real problem is the idea of having actual accountability to the electorate.

  • tom2

    McConnell has a good heart but he’s been in the Senate too long — almost 20 years. And before that, he was a politician. He’s become the proverbial insider and appeaser. In other words, he’s as much democrat as Republican. He’s the reason the TEA folks rose up and now campaign for his opponents. BTW, he has something in common with Dear Leader. He’s never had a real job.

  • Commander_Chico

    What’s the name of the nutball who’s challenging McConnell in the primary?

    Could add it to Mourdock, Akin, Angle, O’Donnell . . . .

    Too bad Richard Lugar isn’t in the Senate anymore, he was a smart guy on foreign relations.

    • Retired military

      “What’s the name of the nutball who’s challenging McConnell”
      lets see
      Chico?
      How about Oprah?
      They could both play the race card.
      At least Chico hasn’t said he wants McConnel dead. Yet. Unlike Oprah.

    • Jwb10001

      I think it’s Gary Johnson, oh no it might be someone that could actually win an election.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Given that obama has stomped on the democrats collective Richard with his “you can keep” lies, Republicans probably dont need the tea party to win this time around.

    • jim_m

      They need the TEA Party to provide some sort of spine so they don’t just capitulate to obama and surrender everything to him. McConnell and Boehner would love to let obama off the hook for this so they could get back to important things like surrendering on amnesty and immigration.

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      A fool, such as McConnel, might believe that.

  • Bird666

    The headline to this story seems a big distortion of what really happened.

    • Pat

      The headline is a question. What is the answer?

  • Lawrence Westlake

    Obviously this is a retarded blog post, but of course the irony given the demographics of Internet sites is that the irony will be lost on much (most?) of the audience. That aside, what’s funny about this “Tea Party” nonsense (in a slapstick sense) is that 30 years from now, long after a material percentage of these space cades are dead, buried and forgotten, there still won’t be a “Tea Party” candidate bearing that label on any ballot for any election at any level of government anywhere in America. Nope. They still will be running as Republicans, without grasping the irony of it all. And at the sewer level it’ll still be a collection of WASP malcontents who mess up GOP primaries, often not voting in the general, electing Democrats in the process, and then complaining the loudest the next day. Shit, even the “Libertarians” have managed to obtain ballot access as an actual political party and occasionally in statewide elections they’ll pull a few percent of the vote. Even the Green Party actually has managed to elect a few mayors in small towns in loopy states. And those latter two factions quite literally are lunatic fringes. Connect the dots.

  • Pat

    So he wants to punch himself in the tea-nuts?

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