Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) really is resisting the apparent efforts by the GOP establishment to usher him into retirement rather than deal with a vulnerable incumbent. In fact, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports
that he's now threatening to sue the NRSC if he gets a primary challenger -- and he might even take action on a separate matter against a specific, challenger, too!
In response to rumors that the national GOP is trying to recruit a challenger, Bunning said: "I would have a suit against the (National Republican Senatorial Committee) if they did that," Bunning told reporters on Tuesday. "In their bylaws, support of the incumbents is the only reason they exist."
Bunning also raised a point against state Senate President David Williams (R), who has spoken to national leaders about mounting a campaign. It turns out, Bunning says, Williams still owes him $30,000 in campaign money that Bunning's campaign committee gave as a loan, and which was due back this past January 1. So who knows, Williams' first task if he does declare a candidacy might be to raise $30,000, to give right back to a very demanding creditor/opponent.
It's unlikely that the national party would go so far as to openly support a challenger -- but any failure to actively help out Bunning would speak volumes, and send all the messages to donors and activists that a challenger would need.