Anyone surprised by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's appearance in a video lauding Rep. Ron Paul? It's hard to imagine an odder couple than the decidedly establishment McConnell and Paul, who once ran for president on the Libertarian Party's ticket.
In an interview Thursday, McConnell explained his appearance, and his working relationship with Sen. Rand Paul, the congressman's son and McConnell's Kentucky seatmate.
"If you think about it, I work with Rand virtually every day. I've gotten to know him well. We were deeply involved in his fall campaign in 2010. We have a good working relationship, and on issues where we agree -- and there are quite a few where we do -- we do stuff together," McConnell said.
He elaborated on the point he made in the video: "I've always sort of put politicians in two categories: Those who want to make a point and those who want to make a difference. Paul is the only one I can think of who actually made a difference by making a point. I mean, there's no question he marched to a different drummer. But we've always had a kind of libertarian wing of the Republican Party, and for us to be competitive this year, what Rand Paul has done by endorsing Romney and trying to bring as much of that group into the fold for the fall has been a very constructive addition to the kind of multiplication you have to do to win a race. In a national race, it's addition, not subtraction. So I appreciate Rand doing that, and they asked me to do it, and I was happy to say things about his dad that I was comfortable saying."
"I certainly have a different view on foreign policy and defense. There are some differences. But on the domestic issues, spending and debt, ObamaCare -- the threat to the American people of this massive, massive amount of government, there are not many differences."
Paul's fans, McConnell said, are "not going to vote for Barack Obama. There may be varying degrees of enthusiasm about kind of folding in to this broad effort we're developing to try to win the White House, but I don't think they're going to vote for [Obama]."
More coming from McConnell, including his views on the Senate landscape and the senator he compares to Washington Nationals standout rookie Bryce Harper, coming shortly.