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TIMELINE: Under Primary Pressure, Heller Lies About His Support for McConnell

Locked in a bruising primary with Danny Tarkanian, Senator Dean Heller went on talk radio yesterday and tried to lie about his support for toxic Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Less than a month ago, POLITICO reported that McConnell has given GOP Senate candidates permission to say they don’t support him – but Nevadans won’t forget that Heller voted to put McConnell in charge and voted with McConnell 90 percent of the time this year.

To help us recap Heller’s position on McConnell, here’s a timeline:

  • 2014: Heller votes to elect McConnell as Majority Leader.
  • Aug. 3: McConnell’s Super PAC promises to spend millions to defend Heller in 2018 after he voted for the Republican health care plan.
  • Aug. 8: Tarkanian announces he’s challenging Heller.
  • Aug. 10: Heller reiterates his support for McConnell.
  • Oct. 23: Tarkanian pledges to oppose McConnell, challenges Heller to do the same.
  • Oct. 27: Another poll shows Heller losing to Tarkanian.
  • Nov. 25: POLITICO reports that McConnell has given Republican Senate candidates permission to say they don’t support him.
  • Dec. 21: Heller declines to say he will support McConnell.


When Asked If He Would Support Mitch McConnell As Majority Leader, Heller Said: “I Will Always Vote For That Leader That I Believe Will Be Best For The State Of Nevada. Whoever That May Be At This Point, I Don’t Know.” “Wall: ‘How will you vote for the leadership position if you are returned to the Senate?’ Heller: ‘Well, first of all, let’s make it very clear that Danny Tarkanian will never be a United States Senator. That will never happen. He can’t win. He’s a phony and he’s a fake. And we’ve already been through the Roy Moore, um, process here in the state of Nevada and that’s how we re-elected Harry Reid. I don’t think that conservatives in Nevada want another Roy Moore moment, and that’s all that they would get with Danny Tarkanian. So whatever he says I discount, but I will tell you this when it comes to leadership in the United States Senate. I will always vote for that leader that does, that I believe will be best for the state of Nevada. Whoever that may be at this point, I don’t know. But I will always vote for leadership that’s best for the state of Nevada.’” [Dean Heller, Kevin Wall Radio, 12/21/17] (AUDIO)