McConnell: Paul forcing people to rethink GOP

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellBill Murray honored with Mark Twain Prize Dems brace for immigration battle Rubio: GOP Congress could go in different direction than Trump MORE (R) said Thursday his junior colleague from Kentucky, Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election How low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? 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 ClintonTrump: Press 'refusing to report' I'm winning Crossing fingers: A Canadian observer's view of the US election Bill Murray honored with Mark Twain Prize MORE wrote that Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryEffective sanctions relief on Iran for sanctions’ sake What would a Hillary Clinton presidency look like? 5 reasons Trump's final debate performance sealed his 2016 coffin 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. HolderPodesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs Payback: Dems see chance to boot Issa Trump was right — Clinton's email case needs a special prosecutor 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.