Even Bachmann's campaign chair wants Ron Paul to win

Michele Bachmann (Reuters / Jeff Haynes)
Michele Bachmann’s Iowa chairman has defected from the Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign and has joined forces with Texas Representative Ron Paul in the libertarian candidate’s run for the White House.

“As for conservatives who are rightly concerned with defeating establishment Republicans Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and – even more importantly – Barack Obama in 2012, Ron Paul has established himself as the clear choice,” former Bachmann staffer Kent Sorenson writes in a press release. Sorenson, who currently serves as a state senator in Iowa, adds that “there is a clear top tier in the race for the Republican nomination for President, both here in Iowa and nationally,” and that Paul is “easily the most conservative” of the group.

On Wednesday, Sorenson parted ways with Bachmann's campaign in order to show his support for rival Ron Paul. Sorsen told Huffington Post that Bachmann was not in that top-tier and that the congresswoman “can’t win Iowa.”

Sorenson’s decision was offered up Wednesday night just hours after attending an event on behalf of the Bachmann campaign. After declining to speak at the gathering, Sorsen went to a Ron Paul rally later that day in Des Moines and publically announced his defection there.

Bachmann immediately attacked Sorenson and accused her former supporter of switching sides to collect compensation offered up by Congressman Paul’s camp; both Sorenson and Ron Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton have dismissed the allegations as false. Bachmann claims that Sorenson told her he was "offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign,” though others have called the quip a falsity.

"We've always known Michele to be an honorable person. She should stop slandering an honorable Iowa state senator," Benton tells the AP.

Wes Enos, Bachmann’s political director for Iowa, also struck down such claims. "While I personally disagree with Kent's decision, and plan to stay with Michele Bachmann because I truly believe in her, I cannot, in good conscious (sic) watch a good man like Kent Sorenson be attacked as a 'sell-out'," says Enos in an official statement.

Bachmann insists that Sorenson told her, “Everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn't I."

Sorenson says that the move is among the toughest decisions he has ever made but that he has long been a fan of Paul’s. He tells the media that he would have sided with the Texas congressman originally had he threw his hat in the race for president earlier but instead opted for Michele Bachmann, an early contender in the competition for the GOP nomination. “The truth is, it was an excruciatingly difficult decision for me to decide between supporting Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at the beginning of this campaign. Dr. Paul and his supporters were a major help in my successful campaigns for Iowa House and Senate even when I couldn’t count on the support of the Republican establishment here in Iowa,” says Sorenson .

“If you are as frustrated as I am with what’s been done by the ruling class, I urge you to join me in supporting Dr. Paul. We can send the national big government political establishment a message they will never forget by voting for Ron Paul for President in the January 3 Iowa Caucuses,” adds Sorenson .

Less than a week until the Iowa caucus begins, Paul has polled favorably in recent surveys suggesting him that he is the most likely victor in the upcoming race.