Mitch McConnell

McConnell Warns That Senate Is In Play

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the Washington Post that control of the Senate is “absolutely” in play in the midterm elections, identifying the nine battleground states he believes will decide the outcome in November.

Said McConnell: “I always think it’s better to be candid and not try to spin people into thinking this isn’t going to be a challenging election. I think the safest place to be is just to say that this is going to be a very challenging election, and I don’t think we know in May … whether it’s Category 3, 4 or 5.”

The nine battlegrounds: Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and Florida.

Blankenship Slams ‘Cocaine Mitch’

West Virginia Senate hopeful Don Blankenship is intensifying his offensive against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him “Cocaine Mitch” in a new TV ad released just over a week until the Republican primary.

“Blankenship… offers no context for the jab. But he may be referring to a 2014 report in the liberal Nation magazine that drugs were once found aboard a shipping vessel owned by the family of McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.”

McConnell Works to Reshape Courts In Case Senate Flips

“Mitch McConnell is making a last dash to stock the judiciary with conservatives this year as a hedge against the chance that Republicans lose the Senate in November,” Politico reports.

“The GOP may have only a few more months of unified control of Washington to repeal Obamacare or enact President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan. But the Senate majority leader is taking a longer view — and confirming as many conservative judges as possible to lifetime appointments.”

GOP Candidate Compares McConnell to the Russians

“A brewing fight between West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship and national Republicans spilled into the open Monday when the coal baron compared Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell to Russians interfering in his state’s election,” Politico reports.

Said Blankenship” “McConnell should not be in the U.S. Senate, let alone be the Republican Majority Leader. He is a Swamp captain.”

He added: “The Russians and McConnell should both stop interfering with elections outside their jurisdictions. West Virginians are aware that McConnell cannot vote in their election. They want him to mind his own business and do his job. A job he has not done now for over 30 years. Balance the budget Mitch and stay out of West Virginia.”

McConnell Says Judges Are His Biggest Accomplishment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Kentucky Today that the biggest accomplishment of his career is the rapid confirmations of conservative judges to every level of the federal judicial system, not passing a massive tax bill.

Said McConnell: “You’ve heard me say before that I thought the decision I made not to fill the Supreme Court vacancy when Justice Scalia died was the most consequential decision I’ve made in my entire public career. The things that will last the longest time, those are my top priorities.”

He added: “It’s noteworthy that when we did comprehensive tax reform 30 years ago, we left it alone for four years before the political winds shifted and we started playing with it again. Believe me, the next time the political winds shift, and the other guys are in the ascendancy (he snapped his fingers indicating a rewrite). But they won’t change these judges for a generation.”

McConnell ‘Watered Down’ Russia Warning

Former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough told Meet the Press that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked a more robust response to Russian meddling in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.

Said McDonough: “It took over three weeks to get that statement worked out. It was dramatically watered down.”

McDonough added that he knew it had been watered down at the request of McConnell.

McConnell Urges Trump to Get Behind Romney

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the New York Times that President Trump “should rally behind the Senate candidacy of Mitt Romney despite his blistering criticism in 2016, arguing that Mr. Romney’s potent bid was an illustration of the Republican Party’s improving fortunes entering a challenging midterm campaign.”

Said McConnell: “I can’t imagine that he’s not. We don’t want to lose the seat, and this looks like a pretty formidable candidate.”

What Does Mitch McConnell Want on Immigration?

Politico: “No one knows the GOP leader’s endgame, nor how he personally prefers the stalemate over Dreamers be resolved. It’s highly unusual for a Senate majority leader, particularly one as calculating as McConnell, to bring a divisive issue to the floor with no clearly intended result in sight. Even his top lieutenants aren’t sure whether McConnell would ultimately support a final immigration deal that can clinch the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.”

Bloomberg: “The path ahead is even less certain in the House, where conservatives aren’t giving any ground. Speaker Paul Ryan would commit only to considering legislation that would meet Trump’s approval.”

McConnell Sees No Need to Protect Mueller

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he sees no need to act to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Bloomberg reports.

Said McConnell: “My understanding is there’s no effort under way to undermine or remove the special counsel. Therefore I don’t see any need to bring up legislation to protect someone who appears to need no protection.”

“McConnell declined to say what Republicans would do if Trump sought to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or Mueller.”

Biden Says McConnell Refused to Call Out Russians

Former Vice President Joe Biden said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation,” Politico reports.

That moment made Biden think “the die had been cast … this was all about the political play.”

“Biden said he and former President Obama worried that without a united front of bipartisanship, speaking out before the election would undermine the legitimacy of the election and American institutions in a way that would play into the Russians’ larger ambitions.”

McConnell and Schumer Hit Rock Bottom

“Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer were supposed to bring a new, more productive relationship to the Senate after years of bitterness and dysfunction at the helm of the chamber,” Politico reports.

“Instead, it’s been a year of slights and one-upmanship between the two men. While there may not be the level of vitriol that marked McConnell’s dealings with former Democratic leader Harry Reid, a new era of bipartisan comity this is not.”