Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Nikki Haley now have something else in common on top of working in the former’s failed presidential administration: Both are calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to step down from his Senate leadership position after the 81-year-old experienced what appeared to be a medical issue while delivering remarks at a podium last week. The senator froze in place while speaking and had to be helped off the podium—hours after he’d reportedly suffered from a bad fall at the airport.
Trump told Breitbart Sunday that “we have to have that,” referring to McConnell stepping down as Minority Leader. “We have some people in the Senate that are fantastic and would be great at that position.”
Trump called the health scare “sad” and, despite wishing his Republican adversary “well,” went on a rampage disparaging the senator’s record, specifically citing recent Senate votes on infrastructure packages: “I think it’s a shame he went so far out to give Green New Deal money to Biden and Democrats. … That was a sad thing to see. He had a bad fall, I guess, and probably an after-effect of that. But it was also sad that he gave trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars to the Democrats to waste on the Green New Deal. ... So that’s a very sad thing also.” LOL.
Ever since Trump and McConnell clashed over the events of Jan. 6, 2021, the former president has vocally attacked the Senate Minority Leader, once going as far as to say that McConnell had a “death wish” for supporting a bipartisan electoral reform bill in the months after Trump tried and failed to steal the 2020 election.
Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who’s somehow managing to trail Ron DeSantis, also called for McConnell to step down in an interview with CBS News on Sunday. Haley’s comments come as part of her ongoing push for older lawmakers—including Trump—to pass mental fitness exams in order to hold office, as she frames her 51-year-old self as the face of a new generation.
“What I am saying about Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, all of them: Know when to walk away,” she said. “We have huge issues that need new solutions. We need new generational leaders. We appreciate your service. We appreciate what you’ve done. But this is why we will fight for term limits.”
Neither Trump nor Haley is necessarily wrong that McConnell’s freezing incident is concerning. We’d all probably be better served if our representatives retired earlier, as plenty of people have pointed out in the wake of reports that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 90, couldn’t do her job for months after contracting shingles. But I suspect Trump and Haley’s comments on McConnell are not coming from a magnanimous place.