Politics Trump hits McConnell again, saying GOP needs new leadership
Kevin McCarthy’s Gamble on a “Big Tent” GOP
Kevin McCarthy’s Gamble on a “Big Tent” GOPIt was Feb. 24, just over a month since the former President had left office and days after he was acquitted of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. McCarthy, the Republican House minority leader and a loyal Trump supporter, was quick to say yes, he should. Then the question was directed at Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican and a vocal Trump critic. She said it was up to the conference’s organizers— but didn’t think Trump “should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed his feud with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) by calling for Senate Republicans to find a new leader ahead of the midterm election, suggesting doing so would boost their chances of taking back the upper chamber next year.
Asked by Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo how Republicans will fare in the 2022 election, Trump said he expects GOP candidates to do very well but said the party needs new leadership in the Senate.
"I think we're going to do very well. We need good leadership. Mitch McConnell has not done a great job, I think they should change Mitch McConnell," Trump said during an hour-long interview Thursday morning.
McCarthy won't say if Liz Cheney is still a 'good fit' for GOP leadership: 'That's a question for the conference'
"There's a responsibility, if you're gonna be in leadership, leaders eat last," McCarthy told Politico.Cheney voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot and has been an outspoken opponent of Trump's continued influence within the party, which has caused a rift among House Republicans.
But Trump said his own support of GOP candidates would help Republicans win back Congress.
"I'm looking at the right people to endorse and when I endorse people it means a lot," he said. "I think we're going to have a great victory in 2022. I think we're going to take back the House. Everybody's working very hard."
Most Senate Republicans remain solidly unified behind McConnell and have repeatedly defended the GOP leader from Trump's attacks.
No Republican senator has stated any desire to challenge McConnell, whom many GOP lawmakers view as one of the smartest tacticians in Washington.
Trump highlighted his work with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who traveled to Trump's Palm Beach resort in January to meet with the former president.
McConnell Dismisses Trump’s Criticism: ‘We’re Not Preoccupied with The Past’
'If you want to see the future of the Republican Party watch Tim Scott's response to President Biden last night,' McConnell said.“Well look, we’re looking to the future, not the past. And if you want to see the future of the Republican Party watch Tim Scott‘s response to President Biden last night,” McConnell said during a Fox News interview on Thursday.
"I'm working in conjunction with Kevin McCarthy and the group and I think we're going to take back the House," he said.
McConnell by contrast hasn't spoken to Trump since mid-December and rarely invokes the former president by name after denouncing him on the Senate floor in February for inciting an unruly mob of supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. McConnell did not vote to convict Trump.
Trump ripped McConnell afterward in a lengthy statement that warned "the Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm."
He declared if "Republican senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again."
Trump took another shot at the GOP leader at a fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, ripping him as a "dumb son of a b__h" and a "stone cold loser."
McConnell tried to put the feud to rest when asked about Trump's attacks.
"What I'm concentrating on is the future and what we are confronted with here is a totally left-wing administration, with a slight majority in the House, a 50-50 Senate trying to transform America into something no one voted for last year," McConnell told reporters earlier this month.
"That's what I'm concentrating on," he said.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told The Hill at the time that he completely disagreed with Trump's disparagement of his leader.
"I disagree with them completely," he said of Trump's comments.
Trump muddles Republican messaging on Afghanistan .
Donald Trump’s hearty endorsement of pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September has undercut efforts by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other key Republicans to question President Biden’s strategy.More broadly, the former president has focused the nation's attention on China as the United States's premier national security concern, putting pressure on Senate Republicans to support legislation Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to move to respond to Beijing's growing influence and power.