Trump blasts McConnell after Arizona Senate race is called for Mark Kelly

Source: Hot Air

Are Mitch McConnell’s days as the Republican leader in the Senate coming to an end? Perhaps, when a couple of senators expressed their opinions that it might be a good idea to postpone the vote to elect Republican leadership. Now Donald Trump is joining others in criticizing McConnell for Republican losses and the red wave that never appeared.

Trump and McConnell had been on the outs before the midterm election cycle. When McConnell doesn’t do as Trump expects him to do, Trump lashes out. He is joining Senators Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Rick Scott, and Mike Lee in calling for accountability for Senate race losses. Johnson, Scott, and Lee sent a letter urging Republican members to postpone leadership elections which are scheduled for Wednesday.

Trump wrote on Truth Social that Blake Masters lost due to a stolen election. “This is a scam and voter fraud, no different than stuffing the ballot boxes. They stole the Electron from Blake Masters. Do Election over again!” Yes, he typed Electron, not election so I left it as it is in the quote. That came at 11:12 p.m. Eastern on Friday night after the Arizona race was called for incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Kelly. It’s what Trump does – he gets angry about something and turns to social media to vent.

Trump blames McConnell for not spending enough money on Masters’ race in Arizona.

“Mitch McConnell, the Republicans Broken Down Senate Leader, does nothing about this. He’s too busy spending vast amounts of money on bad Senator Lisa [Murkowski] of Alaska, when Kelly [Tshibaka] is FAR better.”

Trump also criticized McConnell for not committing to overturning the 2020 presidential election, giving funding to Democratic agenda items and allowing them to increase the debt ceiling.

“He is the WORST!” Trump added, referencing the Kentucky Republican leader.

The senators say that postponing leadership elections will give any incoming Republican senators, perhaps Herschel Walker in Georgia or Adam Laxalt in Nevada, a vote on leadership.

It’s a legitimate point. Mostly, though, there needs to be accountability from the top of leadership on down the chain of command as to why some winnable races were not won. McConnell was correct when he spoke about the importance of candidates. However, it was part of his job to recruit candidates to run against vulnerable Democrats. Everything was in place for a red wave election and some of the candidates couldn’t close the deal. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those candidates are mostly Trump-endorsed candidates, like Blake Masters. Masters even said on the campaign trail that he would not vote for McConnell’s re-election in leadership which came off as arrogant and presumptuous. Tone matters, despite the success of Trump in 2016, and voters didn’t want to hear about the 2020 election – again – because they want to know what the candidate is going to do for them now. Blasting McConnell for alleged slights to Trump proved to not be a winning message.

The Republican Party was going to have to have a civil war even if the red wave happened. Trump is determined to run again in 2024 and there are decisions to be made. What is happening is Trump is his own worst enemy. He is attacking fellow Republicans at every opportunity and focusing on potential challengers in 2024. What worked for Trump in 2015 probably won’t work for him in 2023. There are alternatives with positive messages and success to point to in their records, like Governor DeSantis. Trump had policy successes, that is undeniable. However, time has passed him by. He’s 76 years old and will be 78 in 2024. He’s not feeble like Biden but it’s time for fresh blood, new leadership, and letting the next generation rise up. Trump’s attacks on fellow Republicans at such a critical time, as we wait to see who controls the Senate, isn’t sitting well with voters.

Trump isn’t the face of 2024. His ability to be a kingmaker is also in question. He’s had plenty of successful endorsements but fell short in some really important races.

Mitch McConnell has to explain what happened and why it happened. The same is true for Rick Scott. Scott’s ambition to replace McConnell with himself is obvious and the alleged discord between the two men likely played a part in failure.

The Republican civil war is here and we have to work through it and come out on the other side stronger and smarter. There is plenty of work to do. It starts with those we have as leaders in the party. But, it was always going to be a war to overcome Trump’s dominance in the party.