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Rand Paul: McConnell May Not Have Meant To Threaten Tea Party

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AP Photo / Susan Walsh

His comments came in response to McConnell, who in a New York Times interview over the weekend, predicted he and his incumbent allies "are going to crush them everywhere."

"I don't think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country," McConnell added in the interview.

There's reason for McConnell to be optimistic. The tea party candidate challenging him is increasingly looking like a long shot as are many of the other high profile tea party challengers throughout the country.

Here's Paul's full comment:

The tea party are simply people who are concerned with debt and deficit and so are most Republicans. You know, I think sometimes what separates some of the grassroots from the establishment is tactics on how they want to exploit this and I think in the middle of the campaign things are said that may not be intended but all I can say is that I still believe the tea party is a big factor and will be a big factor in the elections.