McConnell: Paul forcing people to rethink GOP

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding MORE (R) said Thursday his junior colleague from Kentucky, Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Trump flexes new digital muscle Republicans question Trump's trip to Scotland MORE (R), is forcing people to rethink the Republican Party with an unmatched level of "missionary zeal."

McConnell, who is up for reelection this year, complimented the libertarian favorite and potential 2016 candidate in a brief essay featured in Time magazine's 100 most influential people edition. 

"From Berkeley, Calif., to Detroit, my Kentucky colleague has been cheerfully clearing a path for Republican ideals in the unlikeliest precincts. And he’s done it with rare magnanimity," McConnell wrote. 

Paul and McConnell have formed an unlikely alliance, with the junior senator endorsing McConnell's reelection bid this year. McConnell complimented him for "embracing the 11th commandment," to not speak ill of fellow Republicans. 

But McConnell said Paul's authenticity is most important. 

"It’s a trait that’s obvious to anyone who has seen him come out of a D.C. television studio in Ray-Bans and shorts, or hold the Senate floor for half a day to get answers from an imperious White House," he wrote. 

A number of other politicians were featured in the Time issue as well. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) wrote a brief for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), complimenting him for his grace under pressure during his victory in the 2012 recall election. 

Christie has faced his own attacks while battling the fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal. 

"One of the most difficult challenges is standing up for what you believe in when faced with relentless public attacks," Christie wrote. "Scott Walker faced that test and passed it with flying colors."

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAmbassador's sister: I don't blame Clinton for Benghazi Clinton to Trump supporters: 'Don’t look for easy answers' Seven key findings in the Benghazi report MORE wrote that Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryBudowsky: Save Europe, revote Brexit White House: We were prepared for Brexit vote After Brexit vote, is anything left of Britain? MORE has diplomacy in his blood. 

"Diplomacy takes stamina, passion and perspective, and John embodies these traits," Clinton said, complimenting his work on the Middle East peace process, Russia and Iran. She also touted his "personal" commitment to climate change. 

The civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderRacial undercurrents inflame Uber fight over background checks Chaffetz seeks to hold Obama official in contempt over water rule Eric Holder goes to bat for Uber MORE has worked tirelessly to "ensure equal justice, even when some try to tip the scale in favor of a select few."

Lewis referenced Holder's work against the Defense of Marriage Act and restrictive voting laws. He also mentioned the Justice Department's prosecution of terrorists and work to rein in the banking industry.

More in Ballot Box

The Trail 2016: The Big One

Read more »