Drama: Bachmann’s Iowa chairman endorses Ron Paul — three hours after appearing at an event for her; Update: Sorenson told us Paul offered him a “large sum,” says Team Bachmann; Update: Sorenson, Paul camp deny

posted at 9:12 pm on December 28, 2011 by Allahpundit

Dave Weigel snarks, “This changes everything. Instead of having to drop out on January 4, Bachmann will have to drop out on January 4.”

The official statement from now-former Bachmann chair Kent Sorenson:

[T]he fact is, there is a clear top tier in the race for the Republican nomination for President, both here in Iowa and nationally. Ron Paul is easily the most conservative of this group.

The truth is, it was an excruciatingly difficult decision for me to decide between supporting Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at the beginning of this campaign. Dr. Paul and his supporters were a major help in my successful campaigns for Iowa House and Senate even when I couldn’t count on the support of the Republican establishment here in Iowa…

He’s also consistently spoken out against government spending, assaults on individual liberties, and unnecessary trillion-dollar military adventurism for over 30 years. Polls show he is the Republican candidate that can take on and defeat President Obama in November 2012

With the entire Republican establishment intent on smearing Ron Paul and his dedicated supporters, I understand this decision could impact the way people see me and my entire political career. But this is the right decision, and one in which I proudly stand behind.

Follow the link for further thoughts about “the ruling class.” How sudden is this? Well, according to WaPo’s Dan Balz, Sorenson was at a Bachmann event just three hours before he suddenly appeared onstage at a Paul event to endorse him and say, “I thought it was my duty to come to his aid, just like he came to my aid during my Senate race, which was a very nasty race.” Maybe he and Bachmann had some huge blow-up this afternoon that forced him to quit the campaign in a huff? Or … maybe he saw that CNN poll, realized that Santorum is likely to top her next Tuesday as the anointed social-con candidate, and figured he might as well bail out now and join the likely winner. It makes perfect sense for an incumbent state senator to want to ingratiate himself with Paul and his supporters: Paul and Romney have the best Iowa organizations by far, but unlike Mitt’s machine, Paul’s is likely to survive this campaign in some form so that Rand Paul has people in place for whenever he decides to finally run. Sorenson wants them available for his next run for office too.

I don’t know Iowa politics well enough to know how important his endorsement is — he’s known for, among other things, introducing a bill to require evidence of a legal birth certificate for presidential candidates — but the bad press Bachmann will get from the un-endorsement will be withering. Will other staffers abandon ship tomorrow or Friday? Reportedly evangelical leaders are still pressing her to drop out and endorse Santorum in order to unite Christian conservatives, but simply as a point of pride, I can’t believe she’d do it. A sad end.

Update: Here’s Sorenson at Paul’s rally, via Mediaite:

Update: Can you feel his pain?

“The decision I am making today is one of the most difficult I have made in my life,” Mr. Sorenson said in a statement. “But given what’s at stake for our country, I have decided I must take this action.”

Mr. Sorenson said he was “saddened at the dismissive way she’s been treated among some conservatives,” but he said that it had become clear Mrs. Bachmann was no longer a viable contender.

He also told Politico that his goal is to try to take Romney out in Iowa, which explains why he endorsed … the one guy besides himself whom Romney would most like to see win Iowa. Hello?

Update: Cloak and dagger somehow turns even more cloak and dagger-y:

Bachmann statement: “Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign.”

More from NBC:

Bachmann says Sorenson told her yesterday: ‘everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn’t I?’

A bombshell if true, but … is it true? Ace is pointing out on Twitter that Team Bachmann has accused people of being on the take before.

Update: Erick Erickson challenges the CW: Could Sorenson’s betrayal produce a sympathy vote for Bachmann?

Update: The Paul camp denies that any money changed hands, as does Sorenson. Quote: “Let’s be frank, if she was going neck-and-neck with Romney, I’d still be with her.” I believe them. Why would Ron Paul need to throw a bunch of money to peel off a staffer from a second-tier campaign? If anything, by potentially sinking Bachmann’s campaign, Sorenson’s defection might force evangelicals to line up behind Santorum and make Paul’s task harder. It’s a big loss for her but really not such a big get for Paul.

Update (Ed): I’m curious to how a payoff would work, anyway. Disbursements of campaign funds have to be disclosed — and oh, by the way, the quarter ends on Saturday, so the disclosure would be nearly immediate (although after the caucus). Even if this accusation were true, Sorenson would be exposed within a week or two at the most as a sell-out, and for what? The momentary pleasure of switching to another losing cause? That’s pretty far-fetched.


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CoolChange80 on December 29, 2011 at 5:18 AM

changing your mind isnt the same as lying you stupid ‘nista. and sarah said just recently there was room for more people to still run. but she AINT one of them. she never planned on running and she never will. she will hawk and shill for more reality shows, cause thats all she’s got. since she quit her last elected job she’s been a reality star and a fox news “analyst”. nothing else. no lobbyists or think tanks have tried to get her on board. its telling, it shows she has no influence or gravitas to offer. she’s now a professional celebrity. an older paris hilton or kim kardashian. albeit more moral.

chasdal on December 29, 2011 at 8:32 AM

chasdal on December 29, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Off your meds again?

idesign on December 29, 2011 at 8:36 AM

chasdal on December 29, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Off your meds again?

idesign on December 29, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Yeah really. Two words, “nerve tonic”.

hawkdriver on December 29, 2011 at 8:38 AM

The problem with running a grassroots campaign is you pretty much have to sign up anyone who comes knocking on the door and so you are susceptible to having all kinds of weasels in your camp.

Buddahpundit on December 29, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Buddahpundit on December 29, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Like the last registration.

hawkdriver on December 29, 2011 at 8:52 AM

What you mean you don’t always agree with everyone else here? Unheard of! Harumph, harumph!
whatcat on December 29, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Yeah, I’m not sure there’s even one subject that you could get a narrow consensus on at this site. But hey, these guys keep saying they’ve been waiting for years to get on here. It’s apparent that a few have made it their mission to square us all away.
hawkdriver on December 29, 2011 at 8:31 AM

I’m sure Ed and AP would be a bit surprised to learn that HA is a hotbed of unfettered agreement and fervent dittos.

whatcat on December 29, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Oh man, Bachmann’s key aide Wes Enos says “I won’t say much about the situation or the conflicting statements beyond this; I can say unequivocally that Kent Sorenson’s decision was, in no way financially motivated.” Then Enos says he’s staying with Bachmann because he “believes in her.” Really?

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2011/12/sorenson-flap-hits-day-two-108981.html

Politics is so much better than sports. For a long time, Bachmann the Christian conservative has needed a refresher on commandment 9.

TXGOP on December 29, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I never thought I would say this. But this pathetic and embarrassing primary is making Romney look like an exciting and charismatic leader. Too bad that once out of the primary he will look like what he really is and we’ll get another 4 years of Obama. And given the spectacle the GOP is making of itself we might end up with Democrat majorities in House and senate as well. Stupid party anyone?

neuquenguy on December 29, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Second look at Rick Santorum. That is what I’m thinking.

Winebabe on December 29, 2011 at 8:23 AM

I think he is the most solid and ethical conservative, just wish he had an ounce of charisma.

neuquenguy on December 29, 2011 at 9:05 AM

I am no fan of Bachmanns but this guy comes off as sleazy and I would not put it past Pauls people from doing this kind of thing.

KBird on December 29, 2011 at 9:14 AM

What a dirty, disloyal huckster. I am not a supporter of Rep. Bachmann’s campaign, but I do respect her and I absolutely disrespect the backstabbing filthy behavior of this Sorenson fellow.

dczombie on December 29, 2011 at 9:18 AM

This primary season overall is really hurting the republican brand. From the weak slate of candidates, to the debate flubs, to the nut-ball candidates (Bachman and Paul), to the crazy antics like this, to the Herman Cain accusations, by the time this is all said and done not only may Obama win, but what looks like a Republican wave in the house and senate may turn into a democrat victory.

this primary is starting to look like a drunk college party. It’s insane.

Monkeytoe on December 29, 2011 at 9:28 AM

This is awesome!
This pretty much ends any hope Bachmann had. Now if only Newt, Santorum, Mitt, Perry & Huntsman will drop out.
PAUL ’12!!!

76United on December 29, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Contessa Brewer wants to know if Kent Sorenson has a degree in Skullduggery.

BacaDog on December 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM

76United on December 29, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Why? He’s not electable.

hawkdriver on December 29, 2011 at 10:13 AM

All that said, I’d vote for a 3 legged talking horse over Obama.

rgrovr on December 29, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Lawn gnome?
Ham sandwich?
Pray for a miracle and hunker down til 2016?

talkingpoints on December 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

catquilt on December 29, 2011 at 7:23 AM

Good point.

Cindy Munford on December 29, 2011 at 10:25 AM

That’s starting to bug me too. Can the GOP actually blow this? If they do, I’ll support a third party movement starting the day after the inauguration.

predator on December 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Third party is NOT ALLOWED! If you try to vote a third pary…..ugh….O.B.A.M.A. W.I.N.S. another four years! DO.NOT.EVEN.GO.THERE.! please????????????? :)

sicoit on December 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM

If the GOP blows it this time, we have to consider it. After the election, not before.

talkingpoints on December 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM

I’m curious to how a payoff would work, anyway. Disbursements of campaign funds have to be disclosed — and oh, by the way, the quarter ends on Saturday, so the disclosure would be nearly immediate (although after the caucus).

You don’t watch many movies now, do you Ed? They probably paid a couple of hot hookers from the Ukraine to seduce him, got him drunk, chained up, he passed out, they put lipstick and a bustier on him, the hookers took some footage and voila!…Paul’s got himself his new coveted employee on the payroll.

RepubChica on December 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM

You don’t watch many movies now, do you Ed? They probably paid a couple of hot hookers from the Ukraine to seduce him, got him drunk, chained up, he passed out, they put lipstick and a bustier on him, the hookers took some footage and voila!…Paul’s got himself his new coveted employee on the payroll.

RepubChica on December 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Trust me… if the Paul campaign had people who were willing to engage in such activity… he’d already be POTUS.

JohnGalt23 on December 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM

WOW! Making a scandal against Ron Paul out of he said she said non-since! Sound just just like what the conservative media did to Herman Cain! Reporting a lie often enough til the perception becomes true. Where is all the reporting on how much Romney paid Bachmann Superpac to defect! As if a SuperPac is going to Defect a Week Before the Election! In a normal world this action normally happen after the election and NEVER just BEFORE an ELECTION. Again! Where is the reporting of Romneys influence on Bachmann’s SuperPac!

Capitalist75 on December 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM

What ignominious whores and miscreants these people are. I’m not a fan of Bachmann (truth be told I think they all suck to varying degrees), but do any of these people have an iota of principle or loyalty within them?

Walter Sobchak on December 28, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Nope.

talkingpoints on December 29, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Drama: Bachmann’s Iowa chairman endorses Ron Paul — three hours after appearing at an event for her

Allahpundit on December 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

To me it’s just really, a truly, a disgusting thing that this sick fifth collumnist piece of garbage has a complete lack of respect for one of our greatest conservatives, if not the greatest conservative, in my opinion the greatest conservative in the Republican primaries. He’s trying, you know – us as supporters have a responsibilty to not let these slimy politicians, and sick, fifth collumnist garbage Republicans smear one of our heroes in the Tea Party and when you have this guy who is, disgustingly, is the face of the Ron Paul now! The guy who nobody cared about his opinion before!! You know, and you have all these RINO zombies reporting everything he says. You know, having people believe Bachmann is finished. Bachmann was never good. She can’t win. It’s disgusting to see, and, uh, like I said it’s us as supporters to make sure this doesnt happen. You know what I’m saying? People need to know what Michelle Bachmann is really about, and, uh, I really think people need to step up, and, uh, like I said man, Bachmann, uh, Kent Sorenson betrayed her and all heroic Americans who fought in the Tea Party. Kent, run full sprint into a street sign! All of you who continue to stand up for Bachmann. I’m very proud of you for doing that. Uh, it’s time people start standing up. Whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s Facebook, or vlogs, blogs, whatever. Do what you got to do! Don’t let these slimy jerkoffs write history, man. Let them know, you know, it’s time WE had a President! Don’t let them down on Bachmann man, because these guys are a cancer to the nation.

apocalypse on December 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

He tried to get conservative, originalist judges on the court in Massachusetts, but his 85% liberal Democratic majority in the state govt. blocked him, and when they put forward liberal and moderate judges, and he vetoed them, they overrode his vetoes. He tried repeatedly to cut spending and taxes even more while governor, but he was blocked almost every time by his state government’s liberal super-super-majority. The bottom line is he was able to get some positive things done in an overwhelmingly liberal state with an overwhelmingly liberal state govt. And he tried to do more, but was blocked at every turn. Even on Romneycare, which is a liberal idea, it was considered by many conservatives not too long ago to be a conservative idea. The Heritage Foundation pushed for the individual mandate, and of course Newt Gingrich liked the idea, as well as many other conservatives. Though many conservatives opposed it from the beginning, the way conservatives condemn it today is actually a good sign, indicative of how much more conservative we are today than just a decade ago.

LevinFan90 on December 29, 2011 at 1:04 AM

Raising fees is just as bad as raising taxes.

The bottom line is that Mittens nominated liberal judges. He gave in and caved just like he always does.

I don’t care who else supported the mandate. At least Newt has admitted that he was wrong while Mittens still defends it. Mittens even said in 2010 let’s repeal the bad parts and keep the good parts of Obamacare.

With Mittens as the nominee Obamacare goes off the table.

The guy has never been and will never be a conservative.

Obviously you listen to the Great One as well, listen to what he says about Mittens.

LevinFan on December 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I’m guessing you are one of the newbs, since I don’t recall seeing your handle before, and I have been posting here for years.

Before you really step in it, let me give you some free advice. Maybe it is worth what you are paying for it. You decide.

We tolerate a lot of different opinions around here, but if you state facts you had better be able to substantiate them. If you make arguments, you had better be able to defend them.

This place isn’t like the cesspools of idiocy, ignorance, and knee-jerk jackassery that many sites are. I suspect I’m not the only one concerned that business decisions that revolve around sitemeter numbers and dictate open registration will result in devolution. But until the idiots and vulgarians take over, you can expect some of us to continue to smack down fools and liars.

novaculus on December 29, 2011 at 2:23 AM

You do think a lot of yourselves around here? Too funny.
But, I will take my leave from here.
Don’t choke on your won self-important fumes.

BedBug on December 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Bedbug want’s you to be classy CW. Here’s an example.

Now, let me make this very clear: Until you two pee stains on your nasty mom’s mattress, antifederalist panty liner and Pitchporker, go over to the cold, dark world that our soldiers go to fight our wars, so you two stains can whine on a blog, you need to shut your pie holes and show some respect!
BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Like so, CW.

hawkdriver on December 28, 2011 at 11:47 PM

If you’re going to post quote from me, at least post the entire quote, not just what you pick and choose to make me look evil.

I’m against war. I’m a democrat. But, I am for the troops.
While Hawkdriver was in Afghanistan, he would post to tell us how things were going. I was unable to thank him for his service because I was not able to post then.
But, I want to thank you for your service. Despite our differences, I support you, Hawkdriver.

Now, let me make this very clear: Until you two pee stains on your nasty mom’s mattress, antifederalist panty liner and Pitchporker, go over to the cold, dark world that our soldiers go to fight our wars, so you two stains can whine on a blog, you need to shut your pie holes and show some respect.

BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM

This is what I actually posted on that night. Yes, I went crazy, but if you are going to disparage me, at least give them the full picture and context.

By context, I mean the two Ron Paul posters that were accusing you of war crimes and such.

You posted a bunch of quotes, pick and choosen to make your point, Hawk. But, you didn’t give the full context or the entire quote.

Just thought I would set the record straight before I go. If you choose to read the entire text, it is on the headline posts, GOP Will Change The GOP, but I’m betting no one will bother.

BedBug on December 29, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Ron Paul Will Change the GOP, if you care.

BedBug on December 29, 2011 at 4:38 PM

It’s time people start standing up. Whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s Facebook, or vlogs, blogs, whatever. Do what you got to do! Don’t let these slimy jerkoffs write history, man. Let them know, you know, it’s time WE had a President! Don’t let them down Bachmann man because these guys are a cancer to the nation.

apocalypse on December 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I realize that I made this comment days ago and no one will probably see this, but I meant to say “jerks”. My apologies.

apocalypse on January 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM

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