Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann isn’t backing away from her account of the departure of her Iowa campaign chairman.
“He had told me specifically that he was offered money, a great deal of money, from the Ron Paul campaign and that’s why he was leaving,” Bachmann said this morning. (Listen to news conference here.)
State Senator Kent Sorenson had been Bachmann’s campaign chairman for the past year, but made the surprise announcement last night at a Ron Paul rally, saying he is now backing Ron Paul in the final days of the Caucus campaign.
“Yesterday I was with Kent Sorenson. He talked to a number of people on our campaign. He told a number of people on our campaign — there’s a list an arm long of people that he spoke to who said he apologized to me for considering leaving. He said that he would be staying,” Bachmann said. “He was with me at our campaign stop in Indianola. He told all of our campaign that he was definitely on board and then he got in his car and he went and announced that he was going with the Ron Paul campaign.”
Bachmann suggests the Ron Paul campaign is “nervous” because they’re “losing steam” in Iowa, and that’s why they made the play for Bachmann’s backer.
“They were losing momentum in Iowa because Iowans’ eyes were opening up,” Bachmann said. “They understood not only was Ron Paul dangerous when it came to foreign policy, but they’re understanding now that Ron Paul would be willing to legalize drugs in the United States, including heroin and cocaine. Iowans don’t want that.”
Bachmann made her comments moments ago during a news conference in Des Moines and reporters asked how much money Sorenson had been offered. She declined to cite a specific number, suggesting reporters ask Paul’s campaign that question.
A Paul campaign spokesman denied last night that Sorenson was being paid.
“We’ve always known Michele Bachmann to be an honorable person and we think it’s a shame now that she’s trying to slander an honorable Iowan and an honorable member of the Iowa state senate. Senator Sorenson is not being paid,” Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign spokesman, told Radio Iowa last night.
Bachmann’s Iowa political director also issued a written statement — under Ron Paul campaign letterhead — saying Sorenson wasn’t being paid. It’s unclear whether that campaign staffer is still with Bachmann either.