Senate minority leader commits to backing former president if nominated, says focus must be on 2022 midterms
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday he would “absolutely” support Donald Trump if the former president won the Republican nomination in 2024.
However, McConnell told “Special Report” host Bret Baier that “there’s a lot to happen between now and ’24. I’ve got at least four members, I think, that are planning on running for president, plus governors and others. There is no incumbent, [so it] should be a wide-open race and fun for you all to cover.”
McConnell was lambasted by the former president recently after the senator condemned Trump’s behavior during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. When asked by Baier to respond to Trump’s allegation that the Republican Party could never be respected if leaders such as McConnell remained in charge, he replied, “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 [and] picked up a governor.
“The Republican Party had a very good day on November 3,” McConnell continued. “We’re sorry we lost the White House, but the Republican Party demonstrated once again [that] this is a 50/50 nation, we are very competitive and will be competitive again in ’22.”
McConnell also dismissed speculation that there is a civil war within the GOP, saying the real disunity lies with House Democrats.
“The progressives make it extremely difficult for Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi to operate given the narrow margin she has overall in the House,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to McConnell, “I think the Biden administration is making it easy for us to get together. I think we’ve unified in opposition to this new administration’s extremely progressive approach. President Biden has made it quite easy for us to get together.”
Baier finished the interview by asking what McConnell’s message is to Trump supporters who may be concerned about the future of the Republican Party.
“I would say to everybody who’s inclined to support our right-of-center Republican Party, let’s focus on winning the house and the Senate in ’22,” McConnell said. “That will set up the next nominee for president, whoever that may be, [with] the best chance to be victorious.”