March 19, 2023

TURTLE TATTLE: Mitch McConnell plays the blame game for GOP in disarray

TURTLE TATTLE: Mitch McConnell plays the blame game for GOP in disarray

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said all along that problems with “candidate quality” would (and did) cost Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections, but now he’s getting to the root of the issue, telling Republicans exactly who they should hold responsible for the failure to take control of both houses of Congress — and unsurprisingly it’s Donald Trump

Trump may say he’s not angry about the outcome of the midterm elections, in which a few of his key endorsees lost, but the rest of his party is, at least, concerned.

While a few continue with the same tired election denial and lawsuits, the GOP as a whole is having discussions about what needs to change if they’re to win in the future.

Trump and some of his allies have insinuated that the losses are McConnell’s fault because he didn’t throw his support behind some candidates.

Now the GOP Senate Leader is returning the favor, saying that actually, there could have been better candidates in the running, if not for “the support of the former president.”

McConnell, along the way, lashed out at a few specific candidates who didn’t prevail, including Herschel Walker, in Georgia, whose son says that Trump called him over and over, pressuring him to run even when those around him knew it was a bad idea.

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He also referenced the Arizona race lost by Blake Masters and the New Hampshire contest where Donald Bolduc was decimated.

McConnell didn’t delve into House races, but even there, Republicans didn’t fare as well as expected, taking control of the chamber by a narrower-than-expected majority.

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They also lost a lot of races in which election deniers sought more control of the election process.

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“I do think we had the opportunity to learn, one more time, you have to have quality candidates to win Senate races…Our ability to control the primary outcome was quite limited in 2022 because of the support of the former President,” McConnell said.

He added that he hoped that his party would have “quality candidates everywhere, and a better outcome” in the next cycle.

When the new Congress is seated, Democrats (and the Independents who caucus with them) will control 51 Senate seats, a tiny increase from the current even split.

Watch McConnell’s statement below:

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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