Se­nate GOP ral­lies for McCon­nell

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Julie Bykowicz and Erica Werner

WASHINGTON» Se­nate Repub­li­cans on Fri­day ral­lied in sup­port of Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, push­ing back against the on­slaught of crit­i­cism from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Repub­li­cans took to Twit­ter, their pres­i­dent’s pre­ferred means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, to praise McCon­nell as a gifted leader backed by his 52-mem­ber cau­cus and a Repub­li­can in­tent on de­liv­er­ing for the pres­i­dent and the party on taxes and bud­get this fall.

A num­ber of GOP law­mak­ers point­edly re­minded Trump and other GOP crit­ics that it was McCon­nell who en­sured the con­fir­ma­tion of Supreme Court Jus­tice Neil Gor­such.

“Pass­ing POTUS’s leg­isla­tive agenda re­quires a team ef­fort.

No one is more qual­i­fied than Mitch McCon­nell to lead Se­nate in that ef­fort,” tweeted Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Repub­li­can in the Se­nate.

Sup­port came from mod­er­ates and con­ser­va­tives alike.

“Ma­jor­ity Leader McCon­nell un­der­stands the Se­nate is a de­lib­er­a­tive & di­verse body. He en­joys broad sup­port in our Cau­cus,” tweeted Sen. Su­san Collins, R-Maine.

“Per­spec­tive: w/out @Se­nateMa­jLdr McCon­nell’s lead­er­ship, Repub­li­cans don’t have Neil Gor­such on Supreme Court #pro­life #pro­gun,” tweeted Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.

A sit­ting pres­i­dent openly turn­ing on a Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader of his own party in such a fash­ion is prac­ti­cally un­heard of — yet an­other norm top­pled since Trump’s emer­gence onto the po­lit­i­cal scene. And while the fight­ing words might elate Trump’s core sup­port­ers, they can only hurt broader Repub­li­can ef­forts to move ma­jor leg­is­la­tion this fall on taxes and spend­ing while pre­par­ing for con­gres­sional elec­tions next year against en­er­gized Democrats who are ral­ly­ing to re­take the House. Repub­li­cans con­trol both cham­bers, but the Trump fac­tor in many races will be hard to pre­dict.

Trump launched a bar­rage of crit­i­cism at McCon­nell over the col­lapse of the seven-year GOP cam­paign to re­peal and re­place Barack Obama’s Af­ford­able Care Act and even sug­gested on Thurs­day that the Ken­tucky Repub­li­can might have to re­think his fu­ture as leader if he doesn’t de­liver on the pres­i­dent leg­isla­tive lineup.

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