Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has denounced former President Donald Trump’s diminishing political influence and vowed the Republican Party will not accept its favored candidates in 2024.
“Here’s what I think has changed: I think the former president’s political influence has diminished,” McConnell told NBC News, shooting the 76-year-old former commander-in-chief.
The Senate GOP leader, in Wednesday’s interview that was reported Friday, added that Republicans will “actively seek out quality candidates” for the 2024 primaries, and that the party is “less inclined to accept cards.” which could be distributed to us”.
McConnell has been criticized for not ordering the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC to intervene in several 2022 Senate primaries where seemingly flawed Trump-endorsed candidates have won their primary and lost the general election.
McConnell told NBC News he “looked at the landscape” and believed Missouri, where scandal-ridden Eric Greitens was running against Eric Schmitt, and Alabama, where Rep. Mo Brooks was being challenged by Katie Britt, were the only two Senate races where his super pac could step in.
“In the other states, Trump’s support was so big – we could have spent a lot of money, maybe tried to come up with a different candidate and maybe not succeeded,” he said. “And so my conclusion was that everywhere else we had to play with the cards that were dealt.”
With Trump announcing he will make another run for the White House in 2024, McConnell hopes that means “less potential interference” in the next cycle’s primary races.
“We can do a better job with less potential interference,” he said. “The former president may have other things to do.”
McConnell also accused Trump of tarnishing the GOP’s image among non-ordinary Republican voters.
“We lost the support we needed among independents and moderate Republicans, mainly because of the view they had of us as a party – largely made by the former president – that we were. kind of wicked and tending toward chaos,” McConnell said. “And oddly enough, even though this subset of voters didn’t approve of President Biden, they repeatedly didn’t trust us enough to give us the majority we needed.”
Earlier this week, McConnell took another shot at the former president, whom he still says he could support if chosen to be the GOP presidential nominee, saying “the whole nation knows who’s in charge. of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot after the House Select Committee referred criminal charges against Trump to the Justice Department.