Thursday, August 8, 2013

Jesse Benton on Mitch McConnell: "I'm sorta holding my nose for 2 years"

What does Senate minority leader  Mitch McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton really think about working for the McConnell re-election campaign? has obtained a recording of a phone conversation between Dennis Fusaro and Mitch McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton.

Fusaro has previously appeared on a phone recording with Kent Sorenson. The recording features Sorenson explaining how  Ron Paul campaign’s Deputy National Campaign Manager, Demitri Kesari, met with Sorenson and his wife at a restaurant where, Sorenson says, his wife was presented and accepted a check while he was in the bathroom. The call was recorded just days after Sorenson abruptly abandoned Michele Bachmann’s campaign and publicly endorsed Ron Paul.

In the recording below, made by Fusaro on January 9, 2013, Fusaro confronts Benton about the check and asks Benton if he was aware of the payment. Benton denies knowledge but the conversation goes on and Benton begins to discuss what he is doing now.

The recording then presents Benton in his own words explaining what he thinks of his current job working as the campaign manager for the re-election campaign of Mitch McConnell, "Between you an me, I'm sorta holdin' my nose for two years," he says. Here's the full recording. has attempted to reach Jesse Benton and the McConnell campaign for comment, but neither has returned phone calls.

(NOTE: EPJ has removed from this copy of the recording Benton providing his address to Fusaro.)


“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,” Benton said in an emailed statement that the McConnell campaign provided to POLITICO on Thursday. “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.”


Benton and McConnell have responded to the hold your nose comment with this photo:


From WPPL:

Mitch McConnell’s 2014 campaign manager is under fire this week after a series of reports, including an alleged taped phone conversation that casts doubts on his commitment to Senate Republican leader.

The Economic Policy Journal has published a telephone conversation between Dennis Fusaro, a former aide to Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and Jesse Benton, McConnell’s campaign manager.

Benton served as the Paul campaign’s political director in 2012, in which Benton characterized working for McConnell in a less than flattering light.

Benton said he was “sort of holding my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit for Rand in 2016,” according to the posted audio of the Jan. 9, 2013 conversation with Fusaro. “That’s my long vision.”

The news—increasingly referred to as “#nosegate” on Twitter—is spreading across social media and is providing ample fodder for the campaign of Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, McConnell’s Republican primary challenger.

Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand said in an email blast released Thursday afternoon that even Benton “thinks something stinks with the Mitch McConnell campaign.”

“[Benton’s] admission that he is ‘holding (his) nose for two years’ while he works for McConnell shows that even McConnell’s top guy realizes that his boss is not a true conservative, and after nearly 30 years of voting for big-government and big-spending bills, does not deserve to be reelected,” Durand said.


From Politico:

Aide sees 'hurt' in McConnell's eyes

Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager on Friday offered a remorseful take on explosive comments he made about his boss.

“He wasn’t angry, he wasn’t upset, but I could see the hurt in his eyes,” Jesse Benton said on a report that aired Friday on the Louisville, Ky., station WHAS11 News.

Those remarks came a day after a recording of a conversation between Benton and a conservative activist surfaced, in which Benton made deeply negative comments about McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader who is seeking reelection in 2014 against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.



  1. a) how did EPJ obtain this recording?
    b) who is Dennis Fusaro?
    c) if it's Dennis Fusaro who is making it public, what is his specific motive?
    d) what does Benton say at the start of the call? "Hey Gus"?

  2. The guy wants to work for Rand Pau, thinks there'll be a job available once Rand Paul announces a presidential campaign, and is paying his bills and stuffing his resume in the meantime by working for Mitch McConnell.

    What's the controversy?

    1. I think you may be right.
      Still looks bad for McConnell though.

    2. How can he want to work for Paul. Paul doesn't smell any better than McConnell, maybe worse if there is a worse.

    3. OH....ayn randy want's to be prezzy...of what exactly..?..the Louisville COC..?...THE USA..!...Baaawaahahahahahaha...good one...

  3. a) I don't know.
    b) National Field Director for Ron Paul 2008.
    c) He thinks Benton, Tate, Rothfeld, and the rest are an ongoing cancer on the Paul name, and need once and for all to be repudiated.
    d) He says, "Hey, Dennis."

  4. Why didn't you leave in Benton's address information? From what I hear, it is quite the McMansion. Given that my donations to the Paul campaign helped pay for it, I'd at least like to see what it looks like.

    Is it true that Benton will "release the hounds" if any Paul-supporter riff raff shows up?

  5. Frankly, I feel bad for Benton and Fusaro is a shit friend.

  6. I like it better when the left attacks libertarians and pseudo-libertarians. It doesn't feel as good when we eat each other. Even if Rand is a fake, at least he's kind of trying. But I can understand if pseudo isn't good enough for some people.

    1. I can sympathize- In a Rand vs Hitlary contest, I might, depending on the weather and my mood, decide to vote for Rand.

      I would do so reluctantly, since a pure authoritarian communist/socialist like Hitlary would further destabilize the system and polarize the sheeple.

      The election of such a See You Next Tuesday fascist might be what we need to begin the necessary radical decentralization of the powers currently held by the parasitic morons in DC.

      Rand would allow the sheeple to continue their dreamstate of a free country.

      Hell, if it comes down to Rand vs Hitlary, I'll vote for her- the sooner people wake up and smell the police state, the better.

  7. Why are you publishing this kind of stuff? Do you really think that it is a good idea to attempt to cause a scandal for the Pauls? Did you see the left breaking rank and getting on Obama when he, for the sake of political expediency, hid some of the things that he believes?

    Attempting to undermine your ideological allies should be off limits. We have an enemy within the Republican Party and we have an external enemy (the left) that we need to defeat. Harassing the Pauls or figures on their staff for real or perceived slights is absolutely uncalled for and a much more serious betrayal of our movement than all the ideological heresies of the Koch-affiliated moderates. We absolutely should not, under any condition, be doing the other side's opposition research for them.

    1. These staffers are tarnishing the Paul name and will continue to do so until they are exposed to the light of day. It is because we love the Pauls that we want to see this.

    2. I agree with the anonymous (Aug 9, 2013, 2:28 AM) reply above. I see the same type of attacks in my home state with those in the liberty movement attacking others in the liberty movement (especially attacks on former RP campaign staff members). The people being attacked are solid liberty supporters and this is really damaging to the liberty movement. And I agree with the mises and L. Rockwell affliated attacks/criticisms on the cato & other "beltway" libertarians. But these attacks on Benton & others affliated with RP & the RP campaign are very negative to the liberty movement. We need both an intellectual revolution (which RP & mises & Rockwell are leading) and a ground game. Those in the liberty movement involved in the ground game aren't going to be able to keep mud off their faces as easily as those in the ivory towers, so lay off a bit please.

    3. Rand Paul and Jesse Benton are not friends to the liberty movement, and libertarians reject collectivism, So we will continue to give our opinion of anyone we choose.

      "Should be off limits..." Who do you think you're talking to? The rank and file of some party?

      And are you seriously comparing our "movement" to the left? Count me out of any movement that would accept hypocrisy, lying and political games just to get some milquetoast into an office of power.

      P.S. Nobody mentioned Ron Paul, so to use the collective words "The Pauls" is a strawman. Rand Paul and Ron Paul are NOT the same. And i don't care that they're family That's their problem, not mine.

  8. I was already holding my nose and not just because of these two. The Senate Majority Leader is in the same club. If there is to be real progress, there needs to be fundamental change in leadership. Right now politicians are lining their pockets with pure disregard for law or fear of consequences.

  9. This is too much! What about Benton's IP rights? A hard core IP advocate like Wenzel has to be condemned for posting this exchange. Clearly Benton's views have value (to some, I don't care much) which seems to be the determining factor in Wenzel IP theory. (Still waiting for the book). Clearly Wenzel is using Benton's views to attempt to boost readership. And finally Benton has not given his permission.

    1. Libertarian law does not apply against operatives of government leaders.

  10. When you are taped in an unknown manner your real character is revealed. And we see Ron Paul's real character when Sacha Cohen taped him in a hotel room. He couldn't resist reading a newspaper to fill his mind during an idle moment and fled when evil emerged. Jesse stammered like a poker player caught in a bad bluff when Fusaro said he had the goods. Like a confused and panicked child Jesse offered his mailing address as if anyone ever uses snail mail any more. And he couldn't wait to show disloyalty the man who butters his bread either. An unguarded candid moment with Ron couldn't even elicit the common pejorative "fag" which I certainly would have said as I kicked Cohen in the balls.

    Gentleman or disloyal scumbag... you decide who to defend and admire.