GOP Senate allies rally around McConnell

GOP Senate allies rally around McConnell

Republican senators rally around Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after a disappointing midterm election for the GOP.

A group of Senate conservatives’ push to delay Wednesday’s leadership election is running out of steam, though senators don’t yet know whether they’ll have 50 or 49 conference members before the Dec. 6 runoff. in Georgia.

Republican National Senate Committee Chairman Rick Scott (Florida), who is more closely allied with former President Trump, failed Monday to convince other members of the Senate GOP leadership team to agree to delaying Wednesday’s election – a sign that McConnell retains full control.

Scott did not press his case for postponing the election or indicate that he planned to challenge McConnell when he met with the rest of the leadership team on Monday afternoon.

GOP senators said they expected to have a full conversation about what went wrong midterm at a conference lunch Tuesday.

Senior Republicans see Trump’s role in the midterm elections, which prompted Democratic voters to turn out in large numbers despite President Biden’s low approval rating, as a major factor in the GOP’s losses in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada.

“It’s never just one thing, but I think it’s pretty clear that we didn’t do well among independent voters, who in a lot of these states that were competitive made up a big chunk of the electorate. And I think it’s clear that running again in the 2020 election is not a winning strategy,” said Senate Republican Whip John Thune (SD), who rejected calls to delay the election to The direction.

“We have to move on,” he said, predicting that McConnell would be re-elected as leader.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the former whip and adviser to the Senate GOP leadership team, also rejected pressure to postpone the leadership election until next month.

“I don’t know why we would delay an undisputed race. I don’t know what that would be for, and I think it’s important for us to figure out how to come together and eliminate distractions to win the second round in Georgia,” Cornyn said.

He argued “there isn’t a single factor” to explain why Republicans didn’t win the Senate, though he acknowledged “the results were disappointing.”

The Texas Republican noted that “first-time candidates” played a role in Republicans falling short of expectations, alluding to GOP candidates in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (RW.Va.) indicated that Trump’s claims regarding the 2020 presidential election have not helped the Republican cause.

“Looking ahead is always a better campaign strategy. Looking back to 2020 obviously didn’t work,” she said.

And some Republicans allied with McConnell blame Scott for unveiling a platform earlier this year that called for the removal of all federal laws after five years.

Biden targeted Scott in a speech days before Election Day for wanting to put “Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years.”

Scott, who predicted last month that Republicans would control at least 52 seats next year, declined to comment on his conversation with members of the leadership team after Monday’s meeting.

A large group of GOP senators say McConnell deserves a lot of credit for helping Republicans win in Ohio and North Carolina. The Senate Leadership Fund, a McConnell-affiliated super PAC, has spent more than $33 million in Ohio and $38 million in North Carolina, propelling author JD Vance and Rep. Ted Budd (RN.C. ) to victory.

The Senate Leadership Fund also provided $39 million to help Republican candidate Herschel Walker in Georgia; $26 million in the Nevada Senate race, which former state attorney general Adam Laxalt narrowly lost; and $16.4 million on retired Gen. Don Bolduc (R)’s failed efforts to bring down Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in New Hampshire.

McConnell’s supporters point out that he raised more money for Bolduc, who embraced Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the Republican primary, than Trump spent on all Republican Senate candidates combined.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), one of Trump’s closest allies in the upper house, told reporters Monday that he still plans to vote for McConnell to serve two more terms as leader and said he supported holding the election on Wednesday as planned. .

Tuberville, who says he will support Trump if he runs for president again, said he would still vote for McConnell even though Trump has repeatedly called on Senate Republicans to oust him from the leadership.

“Is that an oxymoron? he joked. “Everyone has their opinion.”

Tuberville said Republicans need to revisit their strategy of using early voting and mail-in ballots to increase Republican voter turnout.

A group of seven Senate Republicans last week called for Wednesday’s leadership election to be postponed until after Georgia’s runoff, but failed to move Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.), a close ally of McConnell who has a say in the timing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) joined the call on Sunday to postpone the leadership election. But the same day, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a conservative rising star, spoke out against a postponement because no one challenged any of the incumbents.

“I don’t see why we would delay the election since our five or six leadership elections are uncontested. You know, great wrestling champ Ric Flair used to say, “To be the man, you have to beat the man,” and up until now, no one had the guts to come forward and to challenge Senator McConnell,” Cotton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” advising his colleagues “to move forward with this election so we can focus on Georgia’s runoff again.”

McConnell’s conservative critics in the GOP conference used the disappointment of Election Day to fire on the GOP leader.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has faced McConnell in the past, on Monday accused his leader of “dropping out” Blake Masters in the Arizona Senate race.

Cruz, who is eyeing another presidential run, accused McConnell of putting his personal ambition to continue serving as leader ahead of the party.

“Dropping Blake Masters was indefensible,” Cruz said on his podcast, “Verdict,” referring to a decision by the Senate Leadership Fund to withdraw from the Arizona Senate race in September.

Cruz said the decision was prompted by Masters’ vow during the Republican primary not to support McConnell’s bid to serve another term as leader.

“Because Masters said he would vote against Mitch McConnell. And so Mitch would rather be the leader than have a Republican majority. If there’s a Republican who can win and who won’t support Mitch, the truth is that ‘he’d rather see the Democrat win,’ Cruz said.

A McConnell ally pointed out that One Nation, an outside spending group allied with McConnell, spent $13.1 million on the Arizona Senate race.

Retired Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was blamed last week for not winning a critical race in his home state, where famed doctor Mehmet Oz (R) lost to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), squarely on Trump’s shoulders.

“President Trump had to insert himself and that changed the nature of the race, and that created too many obstacles,” he said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“And by the way, it’s not just Pennsylvania. You look across the country, there’s a very strong correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses, or at least dramatic underperformance,” he added, referring to Trump’s slogan: Make America Great. Again.

#GOP #Senate #allies #rally #McConnell

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *