McConnell: "Absolutely" Would Support Trump If He Is Republican Nominee In 2024 | Video | RealClearPolitics

McConnell: "Absolutely" Would Support Trump If He Is Republican Nominee In 2024


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on FOX News to discuss the proposed COVID stimulus package and said while he would support former President Donald Trump as the party's nominee in 2024, but at the moment he is more focused on holding the Senate in 2022.

From McConnell's interview with FOX News host Bret Baier:

BAIER:  You know, Democrats point to Trump nominees like Ric Grenell, who was a prolific, partisan tweeter, who did not have any problem getting through a confirmation vote.
But, more importantly, critics of this holdup say Republicans didn't even address some of President Trump's tweets that dealt specifically with people.
MCCONNELL:  Yes, I think a lot of my members chose not to comment on the president's daily tweeting. I was among them. And we concluded that was not a constructive use of our time.
BAIER:  So, you don't think there's a difference there, as far as holding one side accountable or not?
MCCONNELL:  Well, I think, when it comes to being confirmed, your record is before the Senate.
The Senate is in the personnel business, unlike the House. And so, when members come up for confirmation, their whole record is before us. And in this day and age, tweeting is part of your record.
BAIER:  All right, we're just 12 days, Senator, since your really blistering speech on the Senate floor about former President Trump.
Here's just a piece of that.
MCCONNELL:  He did not do his job. He didn't take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored.
No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily -- happily -- as the chaos unfolded.
BAIER:  Sorry I interrupted you there with your -- your speech.
You were saying?
MCCONNELL:  Well, look, I -- my point is, what happened in the past is not something relevant now. We're moving forward.
We have got a new administration. It's a very left-wing administration. We need to make sure the American people understand that this is not what Republicans stand for.
I want to say this about the president. Having chosen that progressive route, he certainly made it a lot easier for me to unify my members in opposition.
BAIER:  You're talking about President Biden.
But the reason it's relevant -- and, obviously, I'm sure you read the lengthy statement from the former president, saying: "The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political leaders like Senator Mitch McConnell at its helm. McConnell's dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality has rapidly driven him from majority leader to minority leader."
It goes on very specifically. When you read that, what was your reaction?
MCCONNELL:  The Republican Party is actually in very good shape.
We gained seats in the House. We elected 50 Republican senators, when everybody was predicting we were going to lose the Senate. The Democrats didn't flip a single state legislature. We flipped two, picked up a governor. The Republican Party had a very good day on November 3.
We're sorry we lost the White House. But the Republican Party demonstrated once again this is a 50/50 nation. We're very competitive. And we will be competitive again in '22.
BAIER:  Do you blame the former president for losing the two Georgia Senate seats?
MCCONNELL:  I don't have any further observations to make about that.
We're looking forward--
BAIER:  OK. Well, let me ask you this.
MCCONNELL:  -- dealing with the new administration, and trying to hold the Senate in '22.
BAIER:  Let me -- it's ahead of this big speech this weekend at CPAC.
Should the former president be speaking at CPAC this weekend?
MCCONNELL:  I don't have any advice to give the former president about where he should speak or what he should say.
Is there a civil war in the GOP currently?
I think, if you're looking for a real civil war, look at the Democrats in the House, the progressives making it extremely difficult for Speaker Pelosi to operate, given the narrow margin she has overall in the House. I think the Biden administration is making it easy for us to get together.
And I think we have unified in opposition to this new administration's extremely progressive approach. President Biden has made it quite easy for us to get together.
BAIER:  The -- there will be a lot of talk this weekend about 2024 and whether the former president is going to get in that mix. Here's what Senator Romney said about that if he does.
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT):  Will President Trump continue to play a role in my party? I'm sure he will. He has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party. I don't know about his family members, whether they intend to do that.
But I expect he will continue playing a role. I don't know if he will run in 2024 or not. But, if he does, yes, I'm pretty sure he will win the nomination.
BAIER:  You agree with that?
MCCONNELL:  Well, there's a lot to happen between now and '24.
I have got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus some -- some governors and others. There's no incumbent. Should be a wide-open race and fun for you all to cover.
BAIER:  If the president was the party's nominee, would you support him?
MCCONNELL:  The nominee of the party? Absolutely.
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