Sen. McConnell nabs Huckabee endorsement

Conservative leader and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable McConnell: Trump White House will have ‘constraints’ Nearly 400 House bills stuck in Senate limbo MORE (R-Ky.) in his primary, touting his work "fighting on the front lines" against President Obama.

“It isn’t easy fighting on the front lines against Barack ObamaBarack ObamaRepublican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Frustration with White House builds in Hispanic caucus Giuliani touts Trump as true candidate of 'hope' MORE and his allies in Congress every day but someone has to do it. There is nobody who has done it more effectively, who asks for less recognition for his work, than Mitch McConnell," Huckabee said in a statement accompanying the endorsement.

"I’m proud to endorse Mitch today and stand next to him for the next fifteen months until he is re-elected in Kentucky and then elected the next Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate," he added.

McConnell faces a primary challenge from local businessman Matt Bevin, who has been picking up steam with Tea Party activists locally and nationwide, earning the endorsements of a number of Kentucky Tea Party figures and the conservative group the Madison Project.

But McConnell, too, has picked up a number of notable local and national conservative endorsements, including the support of Tea Party darling Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulLibertarian ticket will get super-PAC support Overnight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota Overnight Regulation: GOP slams new Obama education rules MORE (R-Ky.), and now Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor holds considerable clout among conservatives and evangelical Christians, and has been known to endorse both incumbents and challengers in primaries.

This cycle, he's also backed Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderSenate backs equal pay for female soccer players Overnight Healthcare: Momentum on mental health? | Zika bills head to conference | Only 10 ObamaCare co-ops left Overnight Regulation: GOP slams new Obama education rules MORE in Tennessee, another incumbent Republican facing a possible primary challenge.

Last cycle, Huckabee endorsed former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) in his bid for Senate, and reaffirmed that support after Akin made controversial comments concerning rape and pregnancy that caused other Republicans to abandon him and ultimately contributed to his defeat.

Democrats are charging that, for that reason, the McConnell campaign's embrace of Huckabee, while planning to roll out a group of female supporters from across Kentucky on Friday, amounts to "hypocrisy."

"Mitch McConnell’s shameless embrace of a Todd Akin sympathizer with a record that’s as dangerous for women as his own on the same day he launches a women’s group for his campaign sends a message loud and clear to the women of Kentucky: Mitch McConnell is the walking, talking embodiment of everything that’s wrong with Washington and a dangerous hypocrite who has no interest in fighting for them,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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