Mitch McConnell asked Peter Thiel to split costs in backing Trump-endorsed AZ Senate candidate Blake Masters before his PAC pulled funding from the race, per WaPo
Mitch McConnell asked billionaire Peter Thiel to split costs in Blake Masters' AZ Senate race, per The Washington Post.
Thiel reportedly rebuffed McConnell and his associated PAC's pitch.
Some in the GOP have begun to express concern over Masters' viability as a winning candidate.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to garner outside financial backing from entrepreneur Peter Thiel last week for Arizona GOP candidate Blake Masters, according to The Washington Post, just days before McConnell's associated Super PAC pulled a planned $8 million worth of TV, radio, and digital ads meant to advance Masters ahead of the midterms.
Thiel, who made billions as a co-founder of PayPal and early Facebook investor, has made a name for himself in the Republican fundraising world in recent years, pumping millions of dollars into both Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance's primary race, as well as Masters'. But the entrepreneur has made clear that he prefers to support his preferred candidates early in the race and via independent financial backing — not in league with with the official GOP fundraising arm.
Thiel's inclinations combined with limited funds in McConnell's associated Super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, have forced a stalemate between the two Republican power brokers, according to The Post, as the GOP fights to retake Congress this November.
The outlet reported that McConnell, and Steven Law, who runs the Senate Leadership Fund, spoke with Thiel in a pair of phone calls last week in an effort to convince Thiel to dole out more funds for his friends and former business associates, Vance and Masters, in the final months of their races.
McConnell told Thiel during their phone call that Vance's Ohio race was costing more than initially expected, requiring Thiel to "come in, in a big way, in Arizona" for Masters, a source familiar with the situation told The Post.
McConnell and Law during their calls with Thiel essentially suggested that the tech billionaire split the remaining costs in Masters' race, according to the newspaper, with Thiel matching the funds put forth by the Senate Leadership Fund. McConnell and Law also pitched Thiel an option in which his super PAC would take control of the ad reservations that were initially made by McConnell's associated PAC, according to The Post.
But Thiel reportedly declined.
Neither a spokesperson for McConnell, nor a representative with the Senate Leadership Fund, immediately responded to Insider's request for comment. Thiel also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thiel is still hosting fundraisers for Masters in upcoming weeks, and the Senate Leadership Fund has $8 million booked in Arizona for the month of October, according to The Post. But many in the party have begun to lament Masters' disappointing prospects in his race against Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.
Law in his phone call with Thiel expressed concern over Masters' viability as a winning candidate, according to The Post, and other political sources shared similar sentiments with the outlet.
Masters made headlines earlier this month after scrubbing his website of more controversial viewpoints, including extreme stances on abortion and the sanctity of the 2020 election.
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