Local/Regional News
1:42 pm
Tue May 5, 2009

Bunning Blasts McConnell, Defends Grayson's Exploratory Committee

Louisville, KY – SEN. JIM BUNNING HAS BEEN AT ODDS LATELY WITH MCCONNELL,

WHO HASN'T ENDORSED HIM FOR RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR.

REPUBLICAN LEADERS HAVE BEEN SENDING NOT-SO-SUBTLE MESSAGES

THAT BUNNING SHOULD RETIRE RATHER THAN FACE A STRONG DEMOCRATIC

CHALLENGE.

BUNNING SAID TUESDAY HE'LL RECONSIDER IF HE DOESN'T MEET HIS

FUNDRAISING GOALS, BUT HE ALSO BLAMED MCCONNELL FOR REPUBLICAN

LOSSES IN THE SENATE.

(do you realize that under the dynamic leadership of our leader, we have gone from

55 and probably to 40 in two election cycles, and if the tea leaves i read are correct,

we will end up with about 36 after this election cycle?).

MCCONNELL HAS DECLINED TO RESPOND PUBLICLY TO BUNNING'S

CRITICISMS.

THE TWO SENATORS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND SATURDAY'S GOP

LINCOLN DAY DINNER IN LOUISVILLE. MEANWHILE, BUNNING SAYS HE'S STILL IN THE RACE

FOR

RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR DESPITE HAVING ENCOURAGED SECRETARY OF

STATE TREY GRAYSON TO FORM AN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER

A RUN.

BUNNING TOLD REPORTERS ON TUESDAY THAT CREATING THE COMMITTEE

ALLOWS GRAYSON TO RAISE MONEY TO PAY FOR HIS TRAVEL AS HE

PREPARES FOR A FUTURE POLITICAL RACE.

(sometime you take the commitee down and you run for a different office.

even though you have exposed yourself to many different areas. filing an

exploratory committee means he could be running for the us senate in 2010

or some larger race in 2011).

GRAYSON HAS INSISTED HE WON'T RUN FOR SENATE UNLESS BUNNING

DECIDES TO ABANDON HIS RE-ELECTION BID.

REPUBLICAN LEADERS HAVE BEEN SENDING NOT-SO-SUBTLE MESSAGES

THAT BUNNING SHOULD RETIRE RATHER THAN FACE WHAT IS EXPECTED TO

BE A STRONG DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGE.