GOP Senate candidate dodges on support for McConnell as leader

Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land (R) won't say if she'd support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as her party's leader.

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Land is scheduled to attend a Tuesday fundraiser McConnell and other Senate Republicans are hosting for her in Washington, D.C.

But in a local radio interview, she repeatedly sought to put distance between herself and her party's leaders.

"I think you're getting a little ahead here," Land said on Michigan's Big Show. "First we have to run a race here in Michigan. Once we do that, obviously those things come after that. But right now, we're just running to win here in Michigan."

She demurred again when asked if McConnell was supporting her campaign.

"I'm getting support from a lot of senators. I've got support from Senator Rand Paul [(R-Ky.)], from Rubio, from Senator [Marco] Rubio [(R-Fla.)], from a lot of senators across this country and also from Congress folks here in Michigan too," she said.

Land also said ObamaCare should be fixed, not repealed — this marked a shift in her position, considering she backed Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) efforts to defund ObamaCare, which led to the government shutdown, and signed the Senate Conservatives Fund pledge pushing party leaders to undertake the fight.

"After you pass bills sometimes you have to have to go back and do fixes. That's not unusual, and that's something that I've done in the past and something that we need to do here. It's very important — again, we all agree we need affordable healthcare and we need to get this fixed," she said.

She was then asked if she no longer supported repealing ObamaCare.

"I supported defunding it because I thought that was a way to get the conversation going. We're past that now, we need to now fix this," she said. "We need to is take a look at it, see what doesn't work, get that fixed and get affordable healthcare here for the folks of this great country."

Land later posted on Facebook that she supported short-term fixes to the law to help people keep their insurance, like the bill from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), but still supported a full repeal of the law.

"I supported defunding the Obamacare law when that was an option. I support repealing the Obamacare law if we can get it repealed. President Obama and Congressman Peters promised that Michiganders could keep their insurance and their promise has been broken," she wrote. "I support the Upton bill to fix Obamacare in the short term if that is what it takes to stop 225,000 people in Michigan from losing their insurance. Washington is broken and we need leaders who are ready to make the tough decisions."

She also elaborated on McConnell in a separate comment sent to reporters.

"I am appreciative of everyone in the party who is uniting in the effort to win.  My goal is to do what is best for Michigan, and I will always do that," she said. "Congressman Peters repeatedly voted for Nancy Pelosi as leader and that has been a disaster for our state.  I am appreciative of everything Senator McConnell has done in welcoming my campaign and I am staying laser focused on my race here in Michigan."

This post was updated at 4:05 p.m.

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