Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ruffled some feathers recently when he appeared to take a polite little dump on the absolutely terrible Senate campaigns of Dr. Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker. Now, unfortunately for him and pretty much the whole Republicans party, he’s being forced to eat some of that shit.
McConnell said earlier this month that he thought Republicans were more likely to win the House than the Senate, because “candidate quality” matters more in the upper chamber. He didn’t name names, but we all assumed the comment was directed at the flailing Republican nominees for Pennsylvania and Georgia.
On Friday, McConnell held a fundraiser in Kentucky for Oz, Walker, and Rep. Tedd Budd, the North Carolina Senate nominee—all of whom were endorsed by President Donald Trump. Naturally, reporters asked him to weigh in on Oz’s chances against Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor John Fetterman (D)— especially now that analysts have changed the race rating from “toss up” to “lean Democrat.”
“I have great confidence. I think Oz has a great shot at winning,” McConnell told reporters on Monday, saying the fundraiser was proof. “I don’t think I would have had him here if I didn’t think that.” Nevermind that Oz is objectively running one of the worst campaigns of the last century and recently mocked Fetterman for having a stroke.
McConnell went on to say: “I pick out three of our candidates every summer that I think have the best shot at winning and invite them, and I picked these three, because I thought they were in critical states and had a good chance of winning.” OK, LOL, I guess, but another way to read this is that McConnell knows these dudes are performing terribly, they need all the money they can get, and someone told McConnell that his actively shitting on them in the press wasn’t helping the cause.
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Politico reported that the Republican National Committee held a call for major donors on August 24, where RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich practically begged them to throw money at Senate races. One donor even asked Gingrich to respond to McConnell’s comments about candidate quality. Gingrich replied that he “suspects” the GOP leader “regrets having said that,” and that it wasn’t “useful,” per audio obtained by Politico.
McConnell is now back on message and ready to take your money, nothing to see here, donors!