The GOP cancels Trump’s bid to oust McConnell – BoilingNews

Voters “care more about what you do as a senator, what you take up, what you voted against, how you fight for it,” said Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Who won in 2020 with Trump’s support and believes McConnell is doing “a good job.”

The former president, who remains critical of McConnell for refusing to help him topple the results of the 2020 election, has in recent weeks stepped up his calls for the Kentucky Republican’s exclusion from leadership. This week alone, Trump issued several official statements in which he claimed McConnell, saying the GOP leader “saved the Democrats” by entering into an agreement to allow them to raise the debt ceiling, which caused some dismay in the Senate GOP.

“How this guy can stay as leader is unimaginable – this comes not just from me, but from pretty much everyone in the Republican Party,” Trump wrote Thursday. “He’s a disaster and should be replaced as a ‘leader’ ASAP!”

The build-up to attacks on McConnell has been reinforced by Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, who also went after the GOP leader in the air this fall. Carlson announced during a segment last week that his show would regularly begin highlighting issues with McConnell, which he described as “a left-wing instrument.”

Yet anti-McConnell sentiment has not yet become a dominant theme on the campaign track ahead of the 2022 election. Republican campaigners in several states said their candidates have so far received only one or two questions at events about their support for McConnell – far from a rallying cry from the conservative base.

“I’m sure some consultant is telling them you have to be anti-establishment,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.). “I do not think most people will vote for a candidate based on who they want to vote for the leader.”

To date, only two prominent GOP senate candidates have demanded McConnell’s removal – Kelly Tshibaka, an Alaska Republican challenging incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri running for a seat being vacated by the retiring senator. Roy Blunt.

“You’ll see a whole lot of Senate leaders, like me, not support Mitch McConnell for leadership because he’s anything but a leader,” said Tshibaka, who challenges one of Trump’s top targets in the House.

Tshibaka, who made the statement Monday on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, is so far the only Trump-approved candidate to publicly reject McConnell. Greitens, who in September became the first Senate candidate in 2022 to pledge to oppose McConnell as leader, also did so on Bannon’s popular conservative show. Trump has so far not supported in the Missouri race.

In an interview, Murkowski said she supports McConnell’s leadership and despised Tshibaka’s tactics: “There’s probably a national game book for campaigns; I do not think Alaska residents are playing for a national game book.”

Aside from Tshibaka, Trump-approved Senate candidates elsewhere have refused to take bait in the McConnell issue, suggesting that Trump’s now years-long crusade against the Senate Republican leader has not proved to be an effective litmus test in the Senate primary.

This is despite Trump’s status as the de facto leader of the Republican Party and his widespread popularity among GOP voters – of which 83 percent have a positive attitude towards him. McConnell’s favoritism rating, on the other hand, is 41 percent, according to a new poll by POLITICO and Morning Consult.

In the North Carolina Senate race, Trump-backed representative Ted Budd has repeatedly declined to answer whether he supports McConnell. In a statement to POLITICO this week, his campaign adviser, Jonathan Felts, said Budd is focused on winning.

“Our only thought about future leadership choices is that we want to do our part to ensure that the Republican leader is the majority leader, not the minority leader, so we can stop Joe Biden’s liberal agenda,” Felts said.

Meanwhile, the campaign of Budd’s Republican opponent, former Gov. Pat McCrory, openly praises McConnell’s leadership.

“Gov. McCrory had a good discussion with Senator McConnell before he decided to run for the Senate, and he will definitely support him as leader,” said Jordan Shaw, adviser to McCory’s campaign.

McConnell declined to comment on this story. When the Kentucky Republican was asked on Thursday about Trump’s incentive to replace him as leader, the Kentucky Republican refused to get involved, saying only to reporters “good luck.” His advisers say the GOP leader is only focused on winning back the majority – pointing out that no one has ever voted against McConnell as leader, a position he has held since 2007.

The last senator who promised to vote against a party leader, Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, ended up not opposing Chuck Schumer because there was no alternative to consider.

Trump-approved Senate candidate Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) – who McConnell opposed in a 2017 Senate primary – told POLITICO earlier this month that he would not rule out supporting McConnell as leader, a choice the Republican conference has each second year . But he also made it clear that McConnell is not his favorite Republican, and he would support McConnell “if he is the most conservative.”

“There are some that he is more conservative than, and some not,” he added.
Tuberville said Brooks “sees from the outside what we do – he does not see the inside of the meetings and the conversations and the strategy and all that.”

McConnell’s strength in the GOP was on display at a gala dinner on Thursday as he was praised by about half of the caucus for his leadership, according to a senior Republican aide briefed on the gathering. Conservative Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Announced McConnell’s decision to open a seat to the Supreme Court in 2016, while moderate Murkowski and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) also came with warm words to McConnell.

Other Republicans trying to excel in the crowded Missouri primary – including Rep. Billy Long, a longtime Trump ally seeking approval – has refused to join Greitens in opposing McConnell, even though the former governor has tried to make it a central location. issue in the campaign.

“We believe that all candidates who want to call themselves MAGA should be asked the question,” said Dylan Johnson, Greitens’ campaign manager. “Should they support Mitch McConnell or not?”

Long said in a recent interview that he would not take the same step.

If the Republicans are in the majority, “and the only one on the Republican side is Mitch McConnell, you can not tell me that Eric Greitens will not vote for him,” Long said. “I mean, it’s a good talk. I give it to Eric.”

State Attorney Eric Schmitt’s campaign did not respond to a query about his position on the GOP leader, while rep. Vicky Hartzler said in a statement that she “was not dependent on anyone in Washington” and would “vote for leaders who stand up against the liberal madness that spews out of a toxic awake minority.”

In Ohio, where Trump has also not yet approved the controversial Republican primary, only front-runner Josh Mandel’s campaign responded to POLITICO’s inquiry into his stance on McConnell.

His spokesman pointed to Mandel’s earlier comment on the issue, questioning whether anyone ran against McConnell and saying he would not “entertain hypothetical situations that do not even exist in reality.”

JD Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who has retracted his previous remarks that demean Trump and has tried to portray himself as a reborn MAGA supporter, told Conservative podcast host Jack Murphy in September that he was concerned about that McConnell should continue as leader, but failed to promise to oppose him.

“I have no idea who is going to be the Senate Majority Leader,” Vance said on the podcast. “I think McConnell has clearly shown that he is a little, sometimes a little out of touch with where the base is.”

Later in the interview, Vance said it was “time for us to move beyond the very old leadership class that has dominated the Republican Party for a long time,” even though his campaign did not clarify to POLITICO whether he actually intends to vote against McConnell – who personally encouraged Vance to run for Senate in 2018 – if elected.

Late. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said candidate announcements to oppose McConnell are “designed for an audience of one”: Trump.

“I’ve been through a few leadership choices here, and I’ve seen a lot of people from the outside try to influence those choices,” Cornyn said. “And I’ve never seen it work because people do their own evaluation based on a lot of different criteria about who they want their leaders to be.”

Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.

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