Republicans have begun questioning leaders of the party after midterm elections that failed to produce a Republican “red wave” that had been anticipated by almost all points on the political spectrum.
Some Republicans have identified Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida as figures deserving blame in the GOP’s inability to gain a Senate majority. As thing stand, Democrats will maintain at least 50 seats in a tied chamber where Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casts the tie-breaking vote.
Democrats could have an outright majority of 51 seats in the Senate if Georgia incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock staves off a challenge from Republican Herschel Walker in the December runoff election, which is necessary after neither candidate won 50 percent of the vote in the general election.
As Fox News reported Nov. 8, the Senate Leadership Fund, a McConnell-allied political action committee, pulled $8 million it had planned to spend in the Arizona Senate race after Blake Masters, a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won the Republican Senate primary.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly defeated Masters by 5 percentage points, Fox reported Friday.
Masters slammed McConnell for going AWOL from Arizona in a Friday interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
The McConnell-controlled PAC canceled $8 dollars in ad buys months before the election — all the while it funded attack ads on a Republican who was challenging incumbent Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
It didn’t escape Masters that McConnell’s network was largely out of the picture in a race that Republicans could’ve won.
In 2020, Martha McSally spent $72 million. McConnell’s Super PAC spent $14 million. Mark Kelly spent over $80 million. McSally lost by 2.5 points.
Blake Masters spent $9M. Kelly spent over $70M. McConnell pulled funding out. Blake is probably going to lose by 2-3 points.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 14, 2022
Masters said that he would have won if McConnell’s PAC showed up, and that Republicans would be celebrating a Senate majority.
“Let’s not vote Mitch McConnell into leadership,” Masters told Carlson.
“He doesn’t deserve to be majority leader or minority leader.”
McConnell also swatted down attempts to stake out a concrete policy agenda for Republicans to campaign on, according to an Axios report published in December 2021.
The legacy politician urged Republican candidates to merely focus on criticizing Democrats, rather than offering a legislative plan they’d support if elected to office.
Republicans close to McConnell identified Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as a poor fundraiser and communicator, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Scott was responsible for releasing his own policy manifesto that would sunset Social Security and Medicare every five years, unpopular proposals that proved frequent foils for Democrats on the midterm campaign trail.
However, a spokesman for the NRSC told the Journal that the committee’s job was made more difficult by McConnell allies “constantly trashing our candidates publicly and privately, and telling donors not to give to us or our campaigns.”
McConnell had publicly questioned the “quality” of some of the Republican candidates for Senate, as Fox News reported in August.
And in an interview on Sunday’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” Scott himself said McConnell’s unwillingness to come up with a GOP agenda for the midterms was crucial to the party’s failure.
“We can’t do that,” Scott said. “We’ve got to say, ‘what are our ideas, and let’s fight over those ideas, and let’s act like a caucus.’ And win on those ideas.'”
Republican members of Congress have expressed doubt in their caucus leaders. Sen. Marco Rubio called for the delay of a Senate GOP leadership election until the caucus reflected on the underwhelming midterm performance in a Monday tweet.
We should not have a Senate GOP leadership vote until we have a clear explanation for why our 2022 campaign efforts failed AND until we have a clear understanding of the political & policy direction for the GOP Senate moving forward
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 14, 2022
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is facing doubts in his own caucus in his leadership, despite Republicans securing a slim majority in the lower chamber.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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