Bunning lashes out at McConnell

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) today, accusing his fellow Kentuckian of poor leadership and blaming him for GOP losses.

"Do you realize that under our dynamic leadership of our leader, we have gone from 55 and probably to 40 (Senate seats) in two election cycles, and if the tea leaves that I read are correct, we will wind up with about 36 after this election cycle," Bunning told reporters on a conference call, according to the Courier-Journal. "So if leadership means anything, it means you don't lose...approximately 19 seats in three election cycles with good leadership."

A reporter asked Bunning if he was talking about McConnell.

"Obviously," Bunning replied. "Do you want me to spell it out for you?"

Bunning also criticized McConnell for not fully supporting his re-election bid, comparing his vigor to that of Arlen Specter, who Republican leaders had supported until he switched parties.

"Do you know Arlen Specter will be 80, has had four bouts with cancer and he still wants to run for the U.S. Senate?" Bunning said. "And I'm being criticized at 77 and healthy for wanting to run for the U.S. Senate by certain leadership people in my party. Give me a break."

Bunning compared Specter's party switch to the unprincipled actions of of McConnell.

"It is the fact that Arlen Specter is probably as selfish as our leader is in trying to survive, that's the only way he thought he would survive in the U.S. Senate," he said.

Bunning has said he plans to run for re-election. Last week. however, he gave his blessing for Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) to form an exploratory committee, raising questions over how hard Bunning will fight against GOP leaders who think he's not the most electable candidate.