Rick Perry Endorses Mitch McConnell, Calls For Senate Takeover

03/17/2014 10:40 am ET | Updated Mar 17, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for re-election during a Lincoln-Reagan dinner event in Murray, Ky. on Saturday.

Perry applauded McConnell’s “courage to stand up for conservative principles, even when it means standing up to the leader of the free world,” according to a McConnell press release.

“That’s why we must elect the right kind of leaders to represent us in Washington,” Perry told 300 Kentucky Republicans who are rallying to take back control of the state House, according to event organizers. “Leaders who devolve power to the states and not rob them of it. Leaders who believe in free markets and not a bigger federal government.”

Perry, a potential contender for the 2016 Republican presidential primary, also called on "more conservatives like [McConnell]" to take over the U.S. Senate.

“In fact, let’s send six more to the Senate, make Mitch the new majority leader and send Harry Reid to the backbench where he belongs,” Perry said.

In accepting the endorsement, McConnell made no mention of his tea party challenger, Matt Bevin, who attended the event but was not permitted to speak, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this month, McConnell brushed off the slew of tea party candidates who are challenging GOP incumbents across the country, telling the New York Times, "I think we are going to crush them everywhere.”

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