McConnell Senate Foes Consider McCarthy-Like Ouster

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called the results for his party “abysmally embarrassing” under the leadership of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after a party meeting Thursday.

“We don’t have an effective leader, but that’s been my position for the last year and a half. The last few months have been abysmally embarrassing,” Hawley said.

McConnell could not get enough Republican support this year for an immigration and foreign aid bill to send it to the House for approval. Conservative senators objected that the bill would allow thousands of immigrants over the border into the U.S. daily.

“I turned to Mitch McConnell then and I said, ‘Look, we spent the last two years with a group, a handful of Republicans joining with Democrats to pass the Democrat agenda,’” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said. “I turned to Mitch then, and I said, ‘Is there anything you’re willing to fight on? Is there anything you’re willing to draw a line in the sand and say we will fight?’”

“He refused to answer that question, and that’s why we’re in this mess,” Cruz said.

“I mean, it’s betrayal. How is what McConnell just did with this border deal any different than what McCarthy did?” said one Republican senator who spoke anonymously to the Washington Examiner. “He’s been in charge for far too long.”

“There’s a lot of division even over Mitch remaining leader,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a supporter of McConnell. “Mitch could argue that he’s got a followership problem as much as they have a leader problem.”

“He’s the world’s greatest vote counter, and I don’t know what he might want to do. What I can’t imagine is why he would want to run again,” Cramer said, over the prospect of McConnell stepping aside and allowing one of the other senators to lead.

“McConnell’s problem is that he doesn’t actually talk to or listen to voters or his members. [ … ] I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with McConnell in over a year,” said Hawley. “The guy, he’s completely bubble-wrapped.”

“I think it was a huge mistake for him to be championing sending money to Ukraine at the expense of trying to figure out our border problem first,” said Republican Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).