08/13/2013 11:58 am ET

Rand Paul Cracks Jesse Benton Joke: 'It's McConnell Who Has To Hold His Nose Sometimes' (VIDEO)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) waded into a controversy Tuesday between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his campaign manager, Jesse Benton.

Appearing on "CBS This Morning," Paul was asked about comments by Benton which surfaced last Thursday, where he said he was holding his nose with McConnell's run.

“The funny thing about that is, I know the campaign manager well, and I’ve been on a campaign bus with him before, and I’m guessing it’s McConnell who has to hold his nose sometimes,” Paul said.

“Meaning?” CBS host Charlie Rose asked.

“We’ll just have to let that stand as is,” Paul replied.

The libertarian-leaning Economic Policy Journal posted audio of the Benton phone conversation on Thursday, where Benton seemed to suggest that his work for McConnell was a bridge to a bigger Paul picture.

"Between you and me, I'm sorta holdin' my nose for two years, cause what we're doin' here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in 2016, so that's the long vision," Benton said.

In an interview with WHAS-TV posted early Monday, Benton opened up about McConnell's response to the phone recording. Despite an apology, Benton leveled that he "could see the hurt in his eyes."

"I told him it's not what I believe and that I am here because I believe in him," Benton told WHAS-TV. "And, he's a great guy. He accepted that. I think a lesser man, a lesser leader wouldn't accept that. A lesser man would have pushed me out, quite frankly."

Listen to the Benton phone conversation below (via Economic Policy Journal):



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