Having just won reelection to his Senate seat for a sixth term in 2014, Mitch McConnell is back to making comments such as the one he made last year about his plans for “crushing” the TEA Party.
This time, McConnell is announcing that he will ensure that no GOP candidate who “can’t win” will be allowed to run for the U. S. Senate.
“The way you have a good election year is to nominate people who can win,” he told reporters during his final Capitol Hill press conference of 2015.
He urged Republican primary voters to avoid the mistakes of the past, mentioning several Tea Party candidates who went down in flames in recent Senate elections.
“What we did in 2014 was we didn’t have more Christine O’Donnell’s, Sharron Angles, Richard Mourdocks or Todd Akins. The people that were nominated [last year] were electable,” he said of the last midterm cycle.
“That will happen again in 2016. We will not nominate anybody for the United States Senate on the Republican side who’s not appealing to a general-election audience,” he added.
While Christine O’Donnell and Todd Akin were certainly not ideal candidates, Sharron Angle was a much better candidate (not ideal, but better). Indeed, in the days leading up to the 2010 Nevada election, Angle was beating Reid in the polls by several points; imagine how well she might have done had the establishment backed her rather than attacked her (I prefer not to imagine what the past five years might have been like with no Reid in the Senate . . . it’s just too depressing to contemplate).
McConnell also fails to note the Tea Party candidates—or those supported by the Tea Party—who won Senate seats in 2010: Scott Brown, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Tim Scott. And he fails to mention those who won Senate seats in 2012 and in 2014: Ted Cruz, Deb Fischer, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Kelly Ayote., et al Granted, some of these have been all too happy to move away from their campaign promises and Tea Party principles, but their elections still “count.”
It’s also worth noting here that the Tea Party candidate McConnell defeated in the 2014 Kentucky Republican primary, Matt Bevin, is now the governor of Kentucky.
He also fails to note the establishment candidates who lost their Senate races in 2010, 2012, and 2014 (this isn’t counting the many who “retired”): John Raese, Scott Brown (by 2012 Brown was no longer supported by the Tea Party), Tommy Thompson, et al.
And it’s not just the Senate that McConnell wants to “protect” from the Tea Party (from a leadership position he wouldn’t have without them), he’s also interested in ensuring that only an “electable” Republican win the GOP presidential nomination.
The Hill continues:
McConnell said the same standard applies to the presidential race, reiterating a statement he made earlier in the week.
“We’d like to have a nominee who can carry purple states because unless the nominee for president can carry purple states, he’s not going to get elected,” he said.
It was a veiled shot at the GOP presidential front-runners: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson.
I’m certainly not surprised by this; he’s establishment, and this has been the GOPe strategy for (at least) the last two presidential election cycles.
Presidents McCain and Romney were unavailable for comment on McConnell’s iteration of the same strategy that propelled them into the Oval Office.DONATE
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