View Full Version : Money may force Bunning to rethink re-election bid

05-05-2009, 01:45 PM

Money may force Bunning to rethink re-election bid

* AP foreign, Tuesday May 5 2009


Associated Press Writer= FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) €” Kentucky's embattled junior senator said Tuesday he'll reconsider running for a third term if he doesn't meet his fundraising goals.

Over the past several months, Republican Sen. Jim Bunning has continued to insist he's still in the race even as GOP leaders have sent not-so-subtle signals that he should bow out rather than face what will likely be a strong Democratic challenge.

On Tuesday, he slammed GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, blaming his fellow Kentucky Republican for losing Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democrats and costing the party Senate seats.

McConnell hasn't publicly asked Bunning to retire but hasn't endorsed him for re-election next year. And Bunning said Tuesday that he may think twice about running if he continues to have trouble raising money. He says he'll need about $7 million, but he had less than $400,000 in the bank as of the end of March.

"We're working like the devil to make those goals," Bunning said. And if he doesn't make those goals, he said "we're going to take another look at the race. I'm not going to walk into 2010 with less than $1 million when I know it's going to cost $7 million minimally, probably $10 (million), somewhere in that area, to run against the winner of the Democratic primary."

Though he's encouraged Secretary of State Trey Grayson to form an exploratory committee, Bunning says that doesn't mean he's retiring. The committee will allow Grayson to raise and spend campaign money before he officially enters the Senate race.

Bunning's fundraising has been lackluster and he's had to issue two apologies for recent comments, notably that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could die of pancreatic cancer within a year.

On Tuesday, Bunning had harsh words for Specter, who switched to the Democratic Party last week.

"Good riddance," Bunning said. "I hope he loses. He was never a Republican to start with."

He also brought up Specter's battle with cancer, saying, "Do you know Arlen Specter will be 80, has had four bouts with cancer and he still wants to run for the U.S. Senate? And I'm being criticized at 77 and healthy for wanting to run for the U.S. Senate by certain leadership people in my party. Give me a break."

But Bunning also criticized McConnell "for being unable to retain" Specter.

"Do you realize that under our dynamic leadership of our leader, we've gone from 55 (seats) to probably 40 (seats) in two election cycles? And if the tea leaves that I read are correct, we will wind up with about 36 after this election cycle," Bunning said. "And so if leadership means anything, it means that you don't lose 19 seats, or approximately 19 seats, in three election cycles with good leadership."

Spokesman Robert Steurer said McConnell had no comment.

Two well-known Democrats, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway, are already in the race for Bunning's seat. At least two other Republicans €” state Senate President David Williams and Bowling Green physician Rand Paul, son of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul €” have expressed interest. Both Grayson and Paul have said they won't run unless Bunning drops out.

Bunning said he doesn't think encouraging Grayson to form an exploratory committee will hurt his fundraising.

"I have set certain goals that I intend to meet," Bunning said. "If I don't meet them, then I think maybe it wasn't a good idea. Right now it doesn't seem to be hurting at all."

05-05-2009, 02:01 PM
Hes not going to meet those fund raising goals..

Bradley in DC
05-05-2009, 02:17 PM
I caution people to show respect and let this run its course.

05-05-2009, 02:20 PM
I caution people to show respect and let this run its course.


05-05-2009, 02:21 PM
Hes not going to meet those fund raising goals..
I hope not.