Pro-Trump Republicans are looking to flex their muscles against the Republican establishment – and have set ousting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from his leadership role as one of their goals for the next Congress.
The battle for the soul of the GOP is front-and-center in Republican primaries all over the country, with conservatives lining up against establishment candidates and knocking McConnell’s leadership.
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Mitch McConnell has had some major influence over American politics for decades.
But the biggest thorn in Mitch McConnell’s side? That would be former President Donald Trump. During Trump’s time in office, the two were at least outwardly cordial, but McConnell was not helpful in passing the MAGA agenda – when it comes to immigration, trade, or other top issues.
The collegiality changed when McConnell needled Trump for challenging the 2020 presidential election results.
Since then, there has been no love lost between McConnell and Trump, and Trump certainly does not try to hide his dislike for McConnell anymore. That was on full display in a statement put out by Trump last weekend after McConnell cut a deal that would allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.
“What is wrong with this Broken Old Crow? He’s hurting the Republican Senators and the Republican Party. When will they vote him out of Leadership?”
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McConnell is also the target of many Republican candidates running for office throughout the country in 2022.
And if you happen to be someone challenging one of the “friends of Mitch” like Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the GOP has already demonstrated they have no interest in you.
Florida Senator Rick Scott, who heads up the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said last month that “we support all of our incumbents.”
Thankfully for Alaska Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Murkowski, she has a different friend: Donald Trump.
Tshibaka is one of several candidates, like Blake Masters in Arizona, who do not support McConnell’s leadership. She stated, “when I defeat Murkowski and become Alaska’s next U.S. senator, I will not support Mitch McConnell as leader.”
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is running for Sen. Roy Blunt’s soon-to-be-vacant seat, also echoed the same sentiments, saying, “That’s why as a Republican running for Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat, I am committed to finding new leadership in the Senate when Republicans win back the majority in 2022.”
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McConnell isn’t afraid of using hard-nosed politics, though.
After the death of former Kansas Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, McConnell informed the Dole family that Dole’s long-time event planner Tim Unes had allegedly been involved in some of the event planning at the Capitol on Jan. 6., and that he had been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Committee.
Unes had been involved in planning Dole’s funeral but was promptly, thanks to Mitch McConnell, relieved of those duties. Unes had been associated with Dole since his 1996 presidential campaign.
But it’s not all daisies for Mitch. GOP donors are reportedly miffed that McConnell voted for the $1.2 infrastructure bill, and more than a few GOP Senators who have both publicly and privately took McConnell to task for working with Democrats to once again raise the debt ceiling, after back in October saying he would not.
That “old broken crow” just might be eating a bit of crow courtesy of Trump Republicans come November.
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