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Jim Bunning: Mitch McConnell should be more like Rand Paul

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) said Thursday that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't always represent what's best for the Republican Party.

When asked whether McConnell's positions reflect what most Republicans would like to see out of their leader, Bunning said: "Not all the time." And he said that many Republicans would like to see McConnell and the Senate GOP act more like Rand Paul, whose libertarian views thrust him to a huge GOP primary victory Tuesday night.

Bunning and McConnell have a long history of tensions, and this was just the latest criticism from Bunning, who is retiring at the end of this congressional session.

"I think a lot of us in the Republican Party would like to see Rand Paul and his voting and how he will vote in the U.S. Senate [become] the position of the Republican Party," Bunning said, in a rare exchange with reporters outside the Senate chamber.

In particular, Bunning criticized McConnell for supporting the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program in the midst of the financial crisis.

"He voted for the TARP," Bunning said.

Informed that McConnell said he wouldn't support more bailouts, Bunning wasn't buying it.

"But he did believe George W. Bush and Henry Paulson when they said the sky was falling in. And some of us didn't."

Bunning endorsed Paul in state's Senate primary, while McConnell put his muscle behind Trey Grayson, the Kentucky secretary of state.

"It wasn't his choice," Bunning said of McConnell, letting out a loud laugh.

Bunning said it would be up to the GOP Conference on whether McConnell should remain as Republican leader but that it is a moot point because McConnell claims he has the votes to do so.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37571.html#ixzz0oZ...