Trump calls for McConnell to be primaried

 January 10, 2023

Former President Donald Trump on Monday called for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to be primaried over his votes to support aspects of the Democrat agenda, along with other Republicans who voted with McConnell.

Trump's criticism of McConnell started back in 2020, when McConnell rejected his narrative that the 2020 election was fraudulent and stolen from him, but it has culminated in McConnell's acquiescence to the Democrats' latest $1.7 trillion omnibus bill, when he could have given House Republicans a chance to use their new majority power to curb some Democrat excesses.

“We must now stop Mitch McConnell and his China flagrant boss, Coco Chow [Chao],” he wrote in a Truth Social post. “It’s as though he just doesn’t care anymore, he pushes through anything the Democrats want. The $1.7 TRILLION quickly approved Bill of the week before was HORRIBLE. Zero for USA Border Security. If he waited just ten days, the now ‘United Republican Congress’ could have made it MUCH BETTER, or KILLED IT. Something is wrong with McConnell, and those Republican Senators that Vote with him. PRIMARY THEM ALL!”

Trump drew attention to the fact that Republicans could have agreed to a short-term funding bill, which is actually customary when a Congressional majority changes, rather than the omnibus which boxes House Republicans out until September 2023.

Low-risk for McConnell

If McConnell is primaried, it won't be until 2026, since he just won re-election in 2020. At that time, McConnell will be 84 years old, so it isn't clear how likely he is to run again anyway.

Currently, he is one of the most powerful Republican leaders the Senate has known, controlling needed re-election funding for many Republican senators. It will be difficult indeed to remove him from power before he decides he is ready to go.

Additionally, McConnell has a decent chance of becoming majority leader in 2025, since the deck is stacked in Republicans' favor for gaining seats in 2024.

One would think Trump has a better chance of primarying some of the other Republicans who voted for the omnibus, but it's really interesting to note that only one of the 18--Sen. Roger Wicker (MS) is actually up for re-election in 2024.

Four of the 18 are retiring and have no real stake in the game at this point, and all of the others have at least until 2026 for Trump and the public to forget about their action. Politically speaking, that's a really long time for people to remember a spending bill.

After all, Biden is doing something outrageous about every month. A four-year-old omnibus will probably pale in comparison at that point.

Not a good look

Trump is trying to regain support after losing some, so he probably sees challenging McConnell as something the party's conservative base wants him to do.

Republicans may understand this tactic, but independents and others the party wants to woo over to its side may not get it as easily.

From the outside, it just looks like infighting, which is never popular.

Let's just hope it works itself out by 2024.

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