Buck won't commit to supporting McConnell as GOP leader

Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck said Tuesday night he wouldn't commit to supporting Mitch McConnell (Ky.) as Senate GOP leader.

Buck joined several other Republican Senate candidates aligned with the Tea Party movement who haven't yet signed on to supporting McConnell as the party's top official in the Senate.

"You know, I'm going to make that decision when we get there," Buck said on the Fox Business Network when asked if he'd be supporting McConnell for leader. "I am not going to try to guess who's running and who's not running."

The Colorado conservative isn't the only possible member of next year's Senate Republican Conference to duck on the question of whether he'd support McConnell. Joe Miller, the GOP candidate in Alaska, has said that he'll "wait and see what happens" before deciding whom he'll support as leader, while Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell said she doesn't know whom she'd support.

One Tea Party-backed candidate, Kentucky's Rand Paul (R), said he'll support McConnell, though not before equivocating on the question for some time.

For his part, McConnell has said he's already locked up the votes to stay as Republican leader, whether the party's in the minority or majority come next January.

But the Kentucky conservative's confidence hasn't silenced talk of how he might manage a more conservative Senate GOP conference the next two years, given the crop of especially conservative Republicans that could be elected to the Senate on Nov. 2.

"I think Mitch McConnell understands that, as more conservatives come into the Republican Party in the Senate, it will be a more conservative group, and I think he will lead it in that direction if he's the majority leader at that time," Buck explained.

Senate-watchers have wondered if anyone will step forward to challenge McConnell. The man thought most likely to wage such a challenge, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R), has said he supports McConnell.

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