Senate GOP rallies for McConnell
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.